Fresh off Saab's unveiling of its first-ever electric vehicle, the 9-3 ePower, Saab and American Axle Manufacturing are announcing today they have formed a new joint venture called e-AAM Driveline Systems that will develop electric and hybrid driveline systems. Headquartered, like Saab, in Trollhattan, Sweden, the new JV will engineer and develop, "innovative electric all-wheel drive systems, as well as electric and hybrid driveline systems," that will then be sold to its client, Saab. These systems are apparently destined for real-world use, as Saab says that the components will, "be used in next-generation Saab vehicles from 2012" and are being designed for easy integration into already-existing vehicle platforms.

Saab has been working on hybrid powertrains for a while. The 9-3 ePower will get its battery pack from Boston-Power, but there is no mention of that company in the release announcing e-AAM Driveline Systems. The JV officially gets going October 1.

[Source: Saab Cars North America]


PRESS RELEASE

Saab Automobile and AAM Form New Technology Company: e-AAM Driveline Systems

TROLLHATTAN, Sweden, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ --

* Saab and American Axle Manufacturing (AAM) in joint venture to develop electric and hybrid driveline systems
* New company, e-AAM Driveline Systems, headquartered in Trollhattan, Sweden
* Major step for Saab towards a successful future as an independent company

Saab Automobile and American Axle Manufacturing (AAM) today announced the formation of a jointly-owned company for the engineering, development and marketing of innovative electric all-wheel drive systems, as well as electric and hybrid driveline systems. The new company, called e-AAM Driveline Systems, will be based in Trollhattan. The joint venture will commence operations on October 1.

e-AAM will develop and market an innovative electric all-wheel drive system in a full service package. This electric all-wheel drive system can be easily integrated into existing platforms, minimizing vehicle architecture changes. Saab will become a client of e-AAM Driveline Systems, purchasing components to be used in next-generation Saab vehicles from 2012. The new company will also market its expertise and advanced products to other car manufacturers on a global basis.

Announcing the formation of e-AAM Driveline Systems, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ake Jonsson said: "For Saab, the announcement of this partnership is a major step towards a successful future as an independent company. Saab is currently class-leading with its innovative Cross Wheel Drive system (XWD). The new electric all-wheel drive system will secure a leadership position in its next generation Saabs. This joint venture will bring together Saab's world-class vehicle engineering expertise and AAM's extensive engineering, production and marketing capabilities, which leads to a powerful combination."

Richard E. Dauch, CEO, Chairman and co-founder of American Axle Manufacturing, said: "AAM is pleased to be launching this exciting new business opportunity with Saab. e-AAM will leverage the outstanding competencies of both our companies in the development of state-of-the-art electric and hybrid driveline systems needed by global OEMs to improve the fuel efficiency, ride and handling performance and overall capability of their products. The new and innovative products to be engineered by e-AAM, as well as the new customers to be served by this joint venture, solidly support AAM's strategic initiative to expand and diversify our business
."


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