Saab successor Nevs signs $12 billion China electric car deal

A prototype of the 9-3 electric vehicle produced by Nevs is shown in this undated handout photo provided by Nevs. REUTERS/Handout via Nevs

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), which bought the assets of bankrupt Saab Automobile, announced a 78-billion-yuan ($12 billion) deal on Thursday to supply 150,000 electric cars to Chinese leasing firm Panda New Energy.

The agreement marks a big breakthrough for Nevs, which bought Saab’s assets in 2012 and exited corporate reorganization procedures in April.

“This is a strategic collaboration for Nevs not only in terms of the numbers of vehicles, but it is also an important step to implement our vision and new business plan,” Nevs Vice Chairman Stefan Tilk said in a statement.

Nevs said it will provide Panda with 150,000 9-3 sedan electric vehicles by the end of 2020 and 100,000 other electric vehicle products and services from companies associated with Nevs and its owners.

Mikael Ostlund, a spokesman for Nevs, said the company planned to hire “hundreds of staff”.

Nevs is co-owned by National Modern Energy Holdings, Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech industrial Development Area and the Beijing State Research Information Technology Co., Ltd.

Reporting by Olof Swahnberg; editing by Johannes Hellstrom and Jason Neely