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The latest detail in what’s become a sad saga of failure has to do with dealerships and their reaction to being caught in the fallout. It’s probably easy to forget, but if an automaker goes belly-up, the folks who made a living pedaling their products have to find a new source or go home.
That’s exactly what’s happening with many of the 900 Saab dealers worldwide who are either giving up the ghost or getting creative to stay in business.
Depending on their plans for the company, anyone trying to resurrect the defunct brand may find a dealer exodus too great a burden to overcome.
Without a conduit to sell cars, there is very little an automaker can do to bring their vehicles to market. Given this development, there is only one realistic business option: a company absorbing Saab purely to own their patents and to adopt their engineering.
If that were the case, we could start seeing Saab drivetrains and tech popping up in other cars around the world.
Brand names changing hands isn’t uncommon in the automotive world, Fiat now owns Chrysler and Ferrari, Volkswagen is the master puppeteer behind a myriad of companies including Porsche and Lamborghini and the automotive smorgasbord is hardly finished.
That said, we’re anticipating Saab will continue its slow somersault into the scrap bin with fewer hands reaching to catch their fall as the months wear on.
[Source: the Detroit News]
Just when it seemed Saab would be gone from news headlines for good, Youngman swooped in again to make a bid.
Apparently the company hasn’t given up on getting Saab back up and running. According to Dagens Industri, a Swedish business news organization, the Chinese firm is submitting a £430 million offer, or about $560 million.
They are choosing to make that offer despite GM’s previous sabotage attempts which were meant to keep the company out of Chinese hands. A miniature war was waged last year between Youngman and GM when the American giant decided such a sale would unfairly divulge technology being used in the 9-4X.
Youngman seems unfazed, however, and is continuing their pursuit which will include an additional $520 million being invested. If they actually manage to take the company, they plan to resume production of the 9-3 in April or May.
Though Youngman’s attempts to save Saab proved futile, it appears that the Chinese automaker isn’t giving up on Saab-related assets. Youngman announced that they’ve acquired the rights to Saab’s Phoenix vehicle architecture and also announced that they have intentions of setting up a firm in Sweden to develop a new car based on the Phoenix platform.
The Phoenix vehicle architecture was originally designed by Saab and was going to be used for the next-generation 9-3. It is believed that the platform is not based on any previous General Motors-based designs.
Now the more interesting fight may begin, with Saab entering bankruptcy. Will Youngman try to pull some sort of ploy where they’ll successfully acquire Saab’s name, branding and factory?
[Source: Left Lane News]
Saab‘s clock is ticking quickly to find a way out of bankruptcy with just a “very few days” left to find a loan. Unfortunately, General Motors has been playing a vital role in blocking Saab from selling any of the company to a Chinese automaker, forcing Saab to try to find a loan.
Since Saab can’t sell all or part of the company to any of its interested suitors, Saab has asked their Chinese partner Youngman for a generous $803 million loan. Saab is basically looking for a way to avoid having to get approval from General Motors, since they refuse to give it if it involves shares of the company.
But they better act quick as Saab’s creditor protection could be lifted as early as next week, forcing them into bankruptcy.
[Source: Left Lane News]
It seems like there’s more people involved that are interested in saving Saab than there are interested in purchasing their vehicles. Nonetheless, the drama continues to unfold as we reported yesterday that the Bank of China would come to save Saab, but the Chinese firm Pang Da is still expressing interest.
Pang Da is still interested in purchasing at least a part of Saab along with China’s Youngman. Both were originally included in Saab’s plan to sell the brand, but recent reports show that the Bank of China would replace Pang Da as the rescuer. The reason for the switch was believed to be caused by opposition from Saab shareholder, General Motors.
Saab did say that they are still in talks with Youngman and an unnamed bank, but declined to comment on Pang Da’s involvement. But Pang Da reassured the public today that they are still interested in a stake in Saab and that they are still in negotiations with them.
The bright side to all of this? It should be over soon, as Saab’s time is running out with unpaid workers calling for the company’s bankruptcy.
After much back and forth over the past months between Swedish Automaker Saab and Chinese suitors Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., it seems like funding for Saab is very much back. The Chinese companies have both agreed to buy the Swedish automaker, providing the company with some much needed short and long term liquidity.
The details of Pang Da and Youngman’s agreement are an initial commitment of EUR 50 million to fund Saab Automobile while in reorganization. Next, the Chinese investors will then provide at least another EUR 600 million in funding to restart production and to settle the company’s debts and liabilities, allowing the company to concentrate on matters moving forward.
However, the condition that broke the agreement in the past may cause an interference again. This deal can only become a reality if the Chinese government chooses to give its seal of approval.
According to Saab’s restructuring plan, production will resume in Sweden and Mexico while considerations for assembly in China will be addressed as well. Immediate targets for Saab include the introduction of the 9-4X crossover and the 9-5 SportrCombi wagon. Saab aims to sell up to 55,000 vehicles for the year 2012. In 2010, Saab only managed to move 32,000 vehicles.
Pang Da and Youngman are optimistic that Saab has what it takes to become a profitable company. While 2012 will be a transitional year of reconstruction, the Chinese hope that Saab profitability will return for 2014.
Narrowly escaping bankruptcy and liquidation for the 17th time (ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration), Saab has confirmed receipt of a 70 million Euro payment from Chinese investor and automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.
Far from a magic wand that will make all of Saab’s troubles go away, the automaker continues to operate in its restructuring phase, with the funds being used to simply keep the ship afloat during that time. Swedish law doesn’t permit companies to take out new loans during a restructuring phase, a law both Saab and Youngman have managed to avoid by signing an agreement back in September, and now claiming the funds have been available for several weeks.
Saab continues to await further investment by Youngman and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., both of which are subject to approval by the Chinese government won’t be decided on until October 14th at the earliest. Saab has given no indication of when it hopes to open its Trollhattan assembly plant.