Saab‘s matchmaking saga is the stuff of cinema. Facing compounding financial dilemmas and a series of unsuccessful talks with a number of investors, the troubled Swedish automaker had little going for it. Just as Saab was close to finally making a deal with its Chinese investors, Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., the company faces yet another challenge that may prevent the deal from happening.
General Motors Co., the former owner of Saab, is looking to prevent the Chinese acquisition. GM spokeswoman Renee Rashid-Merem claims, “GM would not be able to support a change in the ownership of Saab which could negatively impact GM’s existing relationships in China or otherwise adversely affect GM’s interests worldwide.”
Removing Saab during its 2009 bankruptcy restructuring, GM still owns the technology that Saab uses to produce two of its models. Also, GM has built the 9-4X in Mexico for Saab this year. If bought by Pang Da Automobiles and Youngman Lotus, GM is concerned for the intellectual property that is licensed to Saab.
As roadblocks mount, it is becoming clear that time is running out for Saab. The Swedish brand sold 49,000 units in the United States in 2003 and have now dropped to only 5,800 models sold for 2010 nearly a 90-percent decrease. Through October, only 4,984 units have been sold in the United States so far this year.
[source: Detroit News]