Saab appears to have yet again found a savior in China, announcing a joint venture with Pangda Automobile Trade Co., the largest distributor of vehicles in the world’s largest car market.
The deal will see Pangda purchase 30 million Euros ($42.5 million) in Saab vehicles, with a second purchase of 15 million Euros ($21 million) to follow. Later on, Pangda will provide 65 million Euros ($92 million) in funding, resulting in a 24 percent equity stake in the Swedish automaker. These investments solve Saab’s cash flow problems for the immediate future and will be enough to get production back on line.
Several other proposals with Chinese partners in the past few weeks have fallen through, reportedly due to a lack of approval by the Chinese government. According to Saab/Spyker CEO Victor Muller, the deal with Pangda should go much more smoothly as it is not a car manufacturer, but a distributor, and therefore the same strict rules do not apply. Last week a deal with China’s Hawtai fell through while rumored talks with another automaker, Great Wall, were later denied.