SAAB · ·

NEVS to cut a third of carmaker’s workforce

saab nevs

The Chinese-backed consortium which owns Saab – the Swedish carmaker that became insolvent three years ago – said on Wednesday it was to lay off a third of the workforce over further delays in restarting production.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) took over the ailing carmaker in 2012.

In all, 200 employees are affected by the decision to slash the workforce at the plant in Trollhattan, south-western Sweden.

Production was halted there in May, but NEVS had kept on the employees pending the outcome of talks with foreign carmakers.

Talks were still “ongoing” but no agreements have been reached, NEVS said on Wednesday, adding that it would “take time” to restart production.

One of the foreign carmakers was said to be interested in part ownership of NEVS, while the another was considering future cooperation.

NEVS said it also needed to cut costs as part of an ongoing reorganization of its business.

A court-appointed administrator is set to present the reorganization plan at a creditors‘ meeting on October 8.

While undergoing reorganization, NEVS has been able to postpone demands to pay suppliers or creditors.

NEVS has estimated the debts to various suppliers to be 400 million kronor (57 million dollars).

Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings is majority owner of NEVS, with a 78-per-cent stake. Qingbo Investment, which owns the rest, was earlier accused of not fulfilling its obligation to finance the operations.

Saab belonged to US car giant General Motors until the beginning of 2010, and was later taken over by Dutch boutique sports car maker Spyker.

Saab filed for bankruptcy in December 2011 although the production lines had fallen silent months earlier. Saab was sold to the Chinese-backed consortium in June 2012.

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