IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Swede behind National Electric Vehicle Sweden

If China and Japan weren't exotic enough, local Trollhättan newspaper TTELA now reports that the consortium behind National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) even has ties to the British Virgin Islands. NEVS is of course the company that wants to acquire the assets of bankrupt Saab Automobile.

TTELA has investigated the ownership structure behind National Modern Energy Holdings, which owns 51 percent of National Electric Vehicle Sweden, and found that National Modern Energy Holdings is actually registered in the British Virgin Islands and not in Hong Hong as previously stated by NEVS. The company which owns National Modern Energy Holdings is however the Hong Hong based company Dragon Base Holdings. To make things interesting, when looking into these companies TTELA found that the Swede Kai Johan Jiang is the principle owner of the group of companies and has been appointed CEO of NEVS.

Furthermore, the top economic planning body in China, the National Development and Reform Comission, which has to approve all considerable Chinese investments abroad, will have no say in a possible acquistion of Saab by National Electric Vehicle Sweden since Kai Johan Jiang is a Swede.

According to Wikipedia, Kai Johan Jiang, born in China's Shandong province in 1965, founded State Power Group in China in 2004. State Power Group is a Chinese energy corporation doing business in substainable energy sources, primarily biomass, including bio ethanol. In 2008 he was awarded Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year by Ernst & Young in China.

"Our R&D branches in Europe are now involved in developing the second generation of biomass ethanol technology. In the future, straw will first be used to extract biomass ethanol, then burned to generate power," Jiang told Knowledge@Wharton in an interview from March 2010.

With such an interest in biomass ethanol, one would think that NEVS if acquiring Saab would also be interested in continued production of Biopower Saabs in Trollhättan?

And Jiang is no stranger to the automotive industry. From 1993 to 2000 he worked for Volvo Group.

"Before entering biomass energy in 2002, I was a senior adviser for Volvo. I made the switch after consulting with my colleague, Karl Erling Trogen - who is now a director on our board - about which industry had a bright future. We agreed that environmental sustainability was a key to a robust future for the planet and decided to establish a world-leading company in renewable energy, choosing biomass power as our main focus. In China, most farmers burn straw as unwanted waste, but the caloric value of the amount of straw burned each year is the equivalent of 500 million tons of standard coal," Jiang said to Knowledge@Wharton.

The colleague Jiang mentions, Karl Erling Trogen, is a name we have already become familiar with the past weeks when NEVS was registered in Sweden with Trogen as the only member of the board. And just like Jiang also Karl-Erling Trogen has a past career from the automotive industry as former CEO of Volvo Trucks.

One big question is however if Jiang has the needed money to buy and make Saab profitable, or if bringing the money to the table is the role of the Japanese venture-capital firm Sun Investment. According to the interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Jiang's State Power Group was not making any money as of 2010.

Let's end this entry about Kai Johan Jiang with some words from him about his passion for working with substainable energy:

"I rarely take weekends off and work hard every day. I’m passionate about what I am doing, and my colleagues share this enthusiasm. The vision that one plant can create thousands of jobs and benefit tens of thousands of farmers is incredibly inspiring.

My philosophy is that if a business benefits both society and the environment, that business will be successful eventually. Senior officials in the country have recognized the significance of developing biomass energy. Today, biomass energy in China benefits farmers and the environment."