Evergrande subsidiary NEVS lays off almost all employees
The lights threaten to go out at National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), the Swedish electric car subsidiary of the Chinese real estate group Evergrande. NEVS is laying off 320 of its 340 employees.
The company is taking steps to cut costs, pay supplier debts and avert insolvency. In a statement, NEVS calls the measure a “hibernation” for the former Saab factory in Trollhättan. Management still hopes there is a future for the plant and the remaining 20 employees and that they can bring it out of deep sleep again.
Following the Saab insolvency in 2011, National Electric Vehicle Sweden was founded in 2012 and took over the Trollhättan plant with the help of Chinese investors. Production in Trollhättan ramped up again for a short time only due to various financial problems. In 2019, the Chinese real estate company Evergrande, with its EV ambitions, took a majority stake in NEVS.
In Germany, NEVS became known as an interim production partner for Sono Motors’ Sion. But again, a final production agreement never materialized; Sono later planned to have the Sion built by Valmet Automotive in Finland – but the project has since been discontinued.
When Evergrande got into financial trouble in October 2021, NEVS started looking for a new owner. At the time, NEVS CEO Stefan Tilk stated he was talking with several investors. However, the situation was not yet threatening the existence of the company.
In the end, however, no one took over. “Our decision comes after our owners, Evergrande, and our investor prospects were unable to finalize negotiations accordingly to our contract,” says NEVS interim CEO Nina Selander.
According to the memo, Evergrande is giving the NEVS subsidiary a “new business direction.” What the new business will consist of is not mentioned, however.