A general view of Spyker Cars Saab factory in Trollhattan
A general view of Spyker Cars Saab factory in Trollhattan September 7, 2011. REUTERS

Sino-Japanese joint venture National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS) has paid a paltry 1.5 billion to 1.8 billion kronor ($210 to $250 million) for defunct Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile AB.

The price, about one-third of what the company was worth in 1989, when General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) bought a 50 percent interest in it, was reported Thursday by Auto News Europe, citing several Swedish reports. GM made an initial investment of $600 million for the 50 percent stake in 1989 and took complete ownership of it for an additional $125 million in 2000.

General Motors sold Saab to Dutch supercar company Spyker in February 2010. Saab entered bankruptcy in December of last year.

NEVS is 51 percent controlled by Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd. and 49 percent by Tokyo-based Sun Investment LLC. According to the NEVS website, SAAB Automobile, Trollhattan and Sweden stands for innovation and technology excellence. At SAAB Automobile, the engagement for future transportation solutions is pervasive.

The cryptic statement from NEVS may be a hint that the company plans to retool Saab into being an electric car manufacturer, according to Auto News Europe, but that possibility has disappointed suppliers in Sweden.

We had hoped that it would be a buyer who intended to continue to build some Saab models. If it's electric cars, there is no volume production, Fredrik Sidahl, head of the Swedish automotive suppliers' association said on Sveriges Radio, according to Auto New Europe.