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Saab owner NEVS to produce green cars for China

The owners of struggling carmaker NEVS have landed a big order for electric cars from China's vehicle leasing company Panda New Energy. This is good news for the Sweden-based firms, which has been trying to keep afloat.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), formerly Saab, confirmed Thursday it had received an order from vehicle leasing company Panda New Energy for electric cars worth $12 billion (11 billion euros).

"This is a strategic collaboration for NEVS not only in terms of the number of vehicles, but it's also an important step to implement our vision and new business plan, "NEVS Vice Chairman Stefan Tilk said in a statement.

Under the deal, NEVS is to provide Panda with 150,000 sedan electric cars by the end of 2020, based on Saab's 9-3 sedan platform. The accord also includes 100,000 other electric vehicle products and services from companies associated with NEVS and its owners.

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NEVS spokesman Mikael Ostlund said the Chinese order would "create jobs for hundreds of people."

He added the Trollhattan plant is Sweden would next year be converted for assembling electric-powered cars. Car bodies would be partly assembled there and later shipped to Tianjin, China, for final assembly, with the Chinese plant due to begin production in 2017.

The depute chairman of the Sweden-China Trade Council, Frederic Cho, said Thursday's deal was "in line with the Chinese government's plans to develop a green car park" in a nation where more than 20 million new vehicles were registered every year and which suffered from severe air pollution.

hg/nz (dpa, AFP)

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