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Monday, February 20, 2012

SVD : Decision likely in ten days

Probably the most known and loudest interested company in buying Saab is the chinese company Youngman. The swedish newspaper brought an interview with the owner Pang Qingnian. One of the richest man in China speaks a lot about himself and about the history of Youngman, but of course there were statements about roots of interest in Saab as well as future plans if he can buy the struggling swedish carmaker.

In the automotive industry Youngman produces Neoplan busses, MAN trucks and developing it's personal vehicles division together in assembling Lotus Cars (the british manufacturer) and in several agreements and acquisition with Proton.

Pang Qingnian wants to buy Saab for two main reasons. The first is the brand, new technology and safety. The second is based on the market trends in China which more than tripled car sales between 2005-2010 and now slows down, namely the sale of luxury cars from the West increases while the market with smaller and cheaper cars falls down. Let's hope, he thinks also about the rest of the world.

Plus, the PhoeniX platform still needs 2 years of development until real cars can be produced.

Therefore he aims at 9-4X and 9-5, where GM, the owner of the IP-rights, already said no. Several times. Ehm. What means this ? Than 9-1, 9-6 and 9-7, he continues.

He also explains, that the current 9-3 could be build without GMs control, which would mean an diesel and automatic transmission 9-3 only and three months to replace the body parts patented by GM. This is what the customers want - diesel + automat, but this also means no car for drivers pleasure. It's exactly the opposite - petrol and manual transmission.

Pang Qingnian didn't revealed his bid to the Saab administrators. There are sources claiming around 2 billion SEK (221 M EUR). He claims to be ready to invest 12 billion SEK (around 1.35 billion EUR) in the development of Saab in the near future. And he promises the production and development of Saab would remain in Trollhattan for at least five years.

End of the Saab drama soon ?

There are many hurdles to overcome. One is, that former employees of Saab are searching and finding new jobs and most of them are not rehirable back. "Time is short", he comments. Another hurdle is close to zero marketshare of Saab in China, which he wants to bring to a reasonable number with massive investments in sales and marketing.

He also speak about positive signals from NDRC, which has to approve the possible deal on the chinese side.

The german blog, from where the initial information comes, comments, that there are two favorite players in this battle, one from china and one from India. Brightwell seems to brake a bit and there is a possibility of combination of bidders.

It seems that the decision is close. But I've had this feeling many times in the last 16 months. Let's hope, this is finally "the" thing and it is a positive one.

sources : |

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