Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co., Ltd., State Power Group Co., Ltd. and its Swedish branch signed an agreement on January 7 to build Saab cars in Qingdao, Shandong, according to the city’s newspaper, Qingdao Daily.
The three sides of the agreement pledged ¥10 billion ($1.6 billion) investment for the construction of a vehicle factory designed to roll out 400,000 Saab cars a year. In the first phase, half of that planned capacity will be installed with a spending of ¥4 billion. Both traditional and new energy vehicles carrying the Saab brand will be produced. Besides the vehicle factory, Saab China’s R&D, sales, and procurement centers will also be built in Qingdao, a harbor city in northern China.
State Power Group Co., Ltd., based in Beijing, is a sister company of National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), which bought Saab Automobile AB in June 2012. Both are subsidiaries of National Modern Energy Holdings, founded and controlled by Jiang Dalong (Johan Kai Jiang), a Chinese with Sweden citizenship.
“Shandong Province is a leader in the Chinese economy, and yet has no locally-based sedan-making ventures. Qingdao, a key city in Shandong, has tried unsuccessfully before (to set up one). It is not fitting for Shandong and Qingdao, which have advanced economies, not to have a sedan-making capacity,” said Jiang.
He said the factory would be constructed near the port and be easily accessible. The cost and size of the land needed for building the factory however has not been determined.
Before the end of 2012, Qingdao acquired the qualification for having a whole-vehicle import port and completed integrating resources for the new Huangdao District. “For Saab looking to create a Chinese production capacity, this is a rare opportunity not to be missed,” noted Jiang.