If you want a new Saab, buy a jet.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden will finally put the Saab automotive brand out of its misery by pledging that it won’t use the company’s moniker on future vehicles. Development of the 9-3 platform into an electric vehicle will continue, but the firm will badge these models as NEVS, not Saab.

“With sincere respect to our history and heritage, we want to be recognized as ourselves – A sustainable mobility solutions provider who are committed to the environment with a focused growth plan with its own brand as a corner stone,“ NEVS President Mattias Bergman said in the company’s announcement.

Chinese investors own a significant portion of NEVS, and the firm intends to focus its electric vehicle business on that market first. The automaker has already formed partnerships there, too. For example, NEVS signed a $12 billion deal with Panda New Energy to supply 150,000 9-3-based vehicles by 2020. A separate $1 billion contract guaranteed 20,000 EVs to China Volant Industry Co, including the first deliveries in 2017.

While NEVS positions this change as giving the company a new beginning, the switch comes out of necessity. Earlier this year, the aerospace and defense contractor Saab AB revoked NEVS’ right to use the Saab brand name on cars or put the firm’s famous griffon logo on them.

Officially retiring the Saab name from cars is the best thing for the company. The famous Swedish brand has been in a zombie state since NEVS bought it in 2012. There have been occasional signs of life like briefly restarting production in Trollhättan, but the brand has obviously been dead for a while.

Source: National Electric Vehicle Sweden

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