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China/Europe: Buyer to use bankrupt Saab to go electric

(Reuters) – The buyer of bankrupt Saab completed the deal to acquire most of its assets in a step that advanced its plans to make electric vehicles but said it would not be able to use the Swedish automaker’s distinctive griffin head logo.

Saab, which has been making cars since 1947, crashed into bankruptcy at the end of 2011, less than two years after General Motors (GM.N) sold it to Dutch sportscar group Spyker.

Buyer National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), whose electric vehicles will be based on Saab cars, said completion of the purchase would speed up the process toward the start of production.

“In approximately 18 months, we plan to introduce our first electric vehicle based on Saab 9-3 technologies and a new technology electric powertrain,” Karl-Erling Trogen, NEVS chairman, said in a statement on Monday.

NEVS aims to make cars for the Chinese market as it sees the authorities there investing heavily in electric vehicles.

The finalization of the deal, including the main production plant, came after NEVS agreed with truck maker Scania (SCVb.ST) and defense and aerospace group Saab (SAABb.ST) not to use the griffin symbol, though it can use the name Saab.

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