Nevs says inks framework deal for 20,000 electric cars with Volinco

The National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) logo is pictured at its Beijing headquarters building December 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Nevs, the China-focused consortium that bought bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab, said on Tuesday it had signed a framework deal worth about 8.5 billion crowns ($996 million) with China Volant Industry Co. (Volinco) for 20,000 electric cars.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs) spokesman Mikael Ostlund said a firm order for its electric car based on Saab’s 9-3 sedan model would be signed later and that Nevs planned to deliver the cars in 2017-2020.

Volinco planned to use the vehicles as company cars for employees, Ostlund said.

“The cooperation agreement means we will get an order but the final purchase agreement is not signed yet,” he said, adding that Nevs would also get access to Volinco’s suppliers.

“Volinco is a very large group with many interesting high-tech component suppliers. It is interesting for us to be able to have access to them for our production,” he said, adding that Nevs has not yet sourced the components for planned new models.

Nevs, which bought the assets of 70-year-old Saab in 2012 with the aim of transforming it into a leading electric carmaker, announced its first major deal in December - a mammoth $12 billion order from a Chinese leasing company.

Ostlund said Nevs, which is building a new factory in China due to be fully operational in 2020, would produce and paint the bodies of the cars for Volinco at the old Saab factory in Sweden, and then assemble them in China.

Volinco says on its website that China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) is its holding company.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by David Clarke