Daily News Briefs: June 13, 2012

Bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab has found a new suitor; a Chinese-Japanese investment group wants to buy the brand and turn it into a builder of electric vehicles, according to sources who spoke with Reuters and Bloomberg News. The group formed a new company in Sweden, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, and has agreed to buy Saab's assets, according to reports. The companies that have invested to buy Saab's assets include Japanese-based Sun Investment and Hong Kong-based renewable-energy power plant builder National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., according to Automotive News. The first vehicle the new company plans to build will be an electric version of the Saab 9-3, which it expects to start selling in early 2014.

In other news:

  • Daimler (owner of Mercedes-Benz and Smart) started production of its Smart ForTwo EV today, according to Automotive News
  • Three of the four major rental car companies have reneged on a previous promise not to rent or sell cars that are under a recall without first addressing the issue, according to Left Lane News. Hertz is the only major rental company that still agrees to the pledge. Other rental firms including Avis, Dollar/Thrifty and Enterprise want to be exempt from some aspects of the rule. 
  • Heavy-truck and bus maker Navistar International can no longer pay fines to the Environmental Protection Agency for its non-complaint diesel engines, according to Bloomberg News. In 2001, the EPA enacted a rule requiring a 95% reduction in nitrogen oxide from heavy-truck diesel engines. Navistar stocks and bonds have fallen sharply in early trading following the announcement. 

More Automotive Industry News 
See What's Coming for 2013 
More Automotive News on Cars.com

More From Cars.com