NEVS lays off staff as Saab output remains idled
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- China's cash-strapped National Electric Vehicle Sweden said it would lay off up to 200 employees at its Saab car plant in Sweden as production is unlikely to resume anytime soon.
NEVS, which bought the bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab in 2012, halted already-low output in May because of a shortage of money. In August, it obtained protection from creditors through a Swedish court while trying to secure funding.
"The ongoing discussions on collaboration and ownership structure, which have not yet resulted in a binding agreement, indicate that the decision for a start-up of production will take time," NEVS said in a statement Wednesday.
It said the layoffs, due to lack of work, were a step in a reorganization plan that the company's administrator would present at a creditors' meeting on Oct. 8. NEVS currently has 550 employees.
NEVS has said it was in talks with two unnamed car firms to secure more money, that it has external debt of about 400 million crowns ($56 million), and that it generated a pretax loss last year of 601 million crowns on sales of 41 million crowns ($5.9 million).
The firm is betting on an electric version -- now in a prototype stage -- of a decade-old Saab model to bring the brand back from the dead. It is targeting its home market of China.