Electric car manufacturer NEVS is now building a third car factory in China and is now also starting the serial production of the company’s first electric car based on Saab 9-3 platform.
The new Chinese main owner, Evergrande, will initially invest SEK 20 billion (2 billion USdollars) in the company, which bought Saab’s bankruptcy estate in 2012. CEO Stefan Tilk says that major investments are being made now: – “We now have the roll-out of our first electric car in China and we are planning to make an SUV version in the future. Besides that, we have now established that we will manufacture brand new cars both in Trollhättan and in China“, he says to Ekot.
A lot has happened for NEVS since the Chinese giant company Evergrande became the new main owner at the beginning of the year. Previously, NEVS’s major economic problems, the production start was delayed and it looked dark. But now it is different. The financial problems are gone, according to Tilk, and now the series production of NEVS’s first electric car NEVS 93 starts.
It will be built in a new factory in Chinese Tianjin and the first series-manufactured car will roll off the line next week. “During the years we have had it very, very struggling, I almost thought it was impossible that we would be able to cope with that factory,” says Stefan Tilk to Ekot. So far, Evergrande has invested many billions in NEVS. – “So far, they have gone in with about SEK 20 billion”, says Tilk.
Part of the money goes to factory buildings in China. Now the construction of the company’s third electric car factory has begun. It happens in Guangzhou, southern China. The production will start in 2020 or 2021.
At the same time, a factory is also being built in Shanghai and so is the finished factory in Tianjin. The electric car manufacturer has, within a few years, three factories in China, which together can build hundreds of thousands of electric cars. NEVS nevertheless believes that the company can sell as many cars as needed.
– “The market in China is so large that we need capacity to take significant market shares. One of Evergrande’s ambitions is to become really big within the mobility segment and electric cars“, says Stefan Tilk to Ekot.
Is there a risk that you do too much at the same time – that you take your water over your head? – “It’s not an easy task. Definitely not. But the opportunity is there and that is what we are fighting for.” Stefan Tilk does not think there is a risk that Trollhättan will suffer when such large investments are made in China.
For example, around 100 engineers will now be recruited in Trollhättan, where today 700 people work, and he also hopes that many cars will be built there in a few years: – “If you look forward to 2022 and 2023, Trollhättan’s factory will probably be well utilized”, he says.
Car analysts have warned that it is very difficult to get into the competitive car industry, that it can take many years before companies start to make money and that getting newcomers will survive. But Stefan Tilk is still hopeful: – “We believe that we can take large market shares in China.”