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NEVS files for protection, loses Saab name

Name and blame: National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has filed for protection against bankruptcy in order to gain more time to resolve its financial problems, but the rights to use the Saab name have been revoked.

With 900 suppliers still unpaid, Saab files for protection, but loses rights to name

1 Sep 2014

IN THE latest chapter of Saab’s ongoing financial struggles the Swedish brand’s owner has filed for protection against bankruptcy and lost the rights to the Saab name.

In a press statement National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) revealed it doesn’t have the funds to pay its debts to about 900 of its suppliers it has used to produce the re-born 9-3.

The company’s president Mattias Bergman said the suppliers will be paid, but negotiations with potential backers were taking longer than expected and filing for protection will give them the extra time it needs to finalise a deal and secure funds.

“The tripartite negotiations we have with two global vehicle manufacturers are still progressing, but are complex and have taken more time than we predicted,” said Bergman said.

“We need additional time to complete the negotiations and reach an agreement.

Therefore, we apply for a reorganisation. We intend to fully pay our debts to our suppliers.” According to a statement from NEVS, many suppliers have chosen to await an outcome to the negotiations, but some have taken the matter to the Swedish Enforcement Authority.

“The upcoming activities from the Enforcement Authority may involve mandatory sale of assets that are supposed to be included in NEVS’ agreement with above mentioned vehicle manufacturers,” the press statement read.

“Loss of such assets could obstruct finalising a contract with them.”

NEVS’ first attempt to file for protection against bankruptcy on Thursday last week was denied by a Swedish District court which said the proposed solution was “vague and entirely undocumented”.

On Friday, NEVS submitted a new petition explaining the reconstruction would be funded by its majority owner National Modern energy Holdings.

The plan would also see the transfer of NEVS’ 'Phoenix' vehicle platform, staff and equipment to a new subsidiary, half of which would be sold to what it referred to as a large Asian auto company.

This second application for reorganisation was approved by the courts and protection was granted as an attorney from Stockholm law firm Hamilton was appointed as administrator.

In an end to a difficult week for NEVS, defence and security company Saab AB has revoked the rights to the Saab name. NEVS said it expected to be able to use the name again once the company's financial backers were locked in.

Saab AB is not affiliated with NEVs but granted the Chinese-Japanese owned company naming rights when it purchased the car-maker in 2012.

Since then NEVS brought the Saab car brand back with its re-born 9-3 rolling off the Trollhattan assembly line in December 2013, and came closer to achieving its goal of producing electric cars in August with the reveal of a prototype 9-3 EV.

Production, however, has ceased altogether until the financial situation resolved.

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