Saab headquarters sign with flowering tree

Not to state the obvious, but if you're going to buy an automaker, it's probably advisable to secure rights to use the name.

That's what the new owners of Saab are trying to work out after buying the iconic Swedish automaker earlier this month, Automotive News reports.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), the Chinese-Japanese conglomerate, acquired the company's physical assets, including its factory in Trollhättan, but didn't get rights to use the Saab name and logo. Truckmaker Scania and defense company Saab AB maintain the name and logo rights, and will need to sign off on NEVS using it, according to the publication. The parties are in discussions.

Saab, which made its first cars in 1947, was acquired out of bankruptcy earlier this month. The new ownership group, led by ex-Volvo Trucks chief Karl-Erling Trogen, is planning on turning the company into an electric vehicle maker and will likely start with a battery-electric powered 9-3 in 2014.