Earlier this month it was revealed the remnants of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab
would be sold to National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB
(NEVS), a consortium made up of Chinese and Japanese interests that is focused on the development of new Saab-based electric cars.
It has since been revealed that the rights to the Saab name and the famous griffin logo were not part of the original deal.
That’s because the use of the Saab name and logo can only be used with the permission of defense firm Saab AB and truck manufacturer Scania, both of which use the griffin logo for their own products. Understandably, they would like to ensure that their shared brand name and logo doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
"Every use of the trademark had to be discussed," Scania spokesman Hans-Ake Danielsson revealed to Automotive News Europe
(subscription required). "NEVS can't get hold of the Saab name until we've approved it."
Saab AB and Scania were given power over the Saab name and logo in the original agreement to sell a 50 percent stake in the automaker Saab to General Motors back in 1990. NEVS is now seeking permission to use the name and logo for its future range of cars and is currently in negotiations with Saab AB and Scania.
Assuming it's successful, NEVS plans to build an electric version of the Saab 9-3 at Saab’s main plant in Trollhättan, Sweden, and then ship them off to China where they would primarily be sold. The next step will be to design and build an all-new Saab 9-3, based on the Phoenix platform
, which NEVS has apparently purchased as part of Saab’s assets.
Of course, in addition to missing out on the Saab name and logo, NEVS is also lacking control of Saab’s international spare parts business. This is because it was awarded to the Swedish government as collateral for backing the 2.2 billion krona (approximately $312 million) loan from the EIB that Saab defaulted on. The Swedish government is still deciding whether or not to keep the spares business or sell it to an interested third party.