Last night, before heading off to see Eric Bana’s movie Love The Beast (review coming shortly – it’s effing brilliant!) I shot off an email to a contact at Saab asking how good his Chinese language skills were.
I got a reply this morning. He said that both his Chinese and Arabic were completely non-existant.
This had me a little baffled until I clicked on a link to this news story at GT.se
It’s an expansion on their Geely story from yesterday. It seems there’s interest from further afield as well.
The Google Trans:
[the first half of the story re-states the Geely story, then there’s this]
…….Just over a year ago PG Gyllenhammar met with Binter Princess Haya Al Hussein in Gothenburg. Princess Haya was in Sweden to award a prize in horse races in Scandinavia.
And Princess Hayas husband’s nephew is the bilfrälste Sheikh Maktoum Hashar Maktoum al Maktoum. Sheikh Maktoum is described as a bilgalning in a family that is otherwise only dealing with racehorses.
– I love to drive, I drove the car the first time when I was four years, the Sheikh Maktoum said.
Sheikh Maktoum is not afraid of risky bilprojekt. When he started racing car series A1GP sentenced many out there that clean playhouse. Sheikh Maktoum lost more than a billion in the first season, but the series lives on. A1GP To establish itself as a competitor to formel1.
Although one billion loss in 2007, Sheikh was the awards’ Young Global Leader “by the Association World Economic Forum. Maktoum family has distinguished itself as a very keen about the environment in Dubai and they have introduced requirements for environmentally friendly cars.
The one thing that’s unclear from this story is whether or not the Sheikh is interested in Saab on his own, or as a financial partner with Geely.
As I understand it, Geely are one of the few privately owned Chinese car manufacturers and are pretty small, so raising the funds to take over even a small operation like Saab could be a challenge for them.
The Sheikh is young, an absolute car nut and obviously he’s pretty well connected and not short of a buck or two. He likes to be known as ‘Hasher’ to his mates and the ladies think he has a nice smile.
Like many of you, I have my doubts as to Geely’s ownership of Saab and whether Saab’s operations would stay in Sweden. I have fewer doubts as to the Swedish question when it comes to the Sheikh.
I’m sure we may hear more about this in the coming weeks, but it’s definitely getting interesting, wouldn’t you say?