August 17, 2015 / 10:40 AM / 2 years ago

Dongfeng to jointly develop green cars with Saab owner: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese automakers Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd and National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), which bought bankrupt carmaker Saab in 2012, signed an agreement Monday to jointly develop green cars, the state-owned Xinhua news agency reported.

The agreement will help Dongfeng sell its own brand cars through the NEVS dealer network in Europe and the United States, and also meet European legal and technical requirements, Xinhua reported.

The report did not give financial terms of the deal.

The deal is another step forward for NEVS after financial problems led it to stop production of Saab cars in Sweden last year and defense contractor Saab AB, from which Saab Automobile was created in 1990, disputed its use of the brand name.

The agreement will also allow NEVS’ planned factory in Tianjin to draw on the massive supplier network of Dongfeng, China’s second largest automaker.

NEVS announced in June that it broke ground on a factory with a potential capacity of 200,000 cars as well as a research and development center, with two Chinese partners pledging to invest 1.2 billion yuan ($187.68 million).

It said the project would focus specifically on “new energy vehicles”, a Chinese term for electric and highly electrified vehicles.

($1 = 6.3937 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi

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