Talks going on…

Waiting for news to come is never easy. I spend my evening on the couch, browsing the web for info and watching TV. Tonight I saw a documentary about the Titanic. It was not just about how it happened (have seen that more often than I ever wanted), they went to a simulator to research what happened in that fatal night and adapted various parameters to find out how hitting the iceberg could have been avoided. Of course I could not help but draw parallels to what Pang Da, Youngman and Saab/SWAN are doing at the moment. Luckily their ship did not sink when it hit the Detroit iceberg but it took a serious hit.

Rachel Pang of Youngman shows fighting spirit and confirms that they are still very interested in being a part of Saab’s survival plan (Reuters):

Youngman director Rachel Pang said on Wednesday the company will do “everything they can” to support Saab’s survival. She told Swedish news agency TT Youngman still wants to buy Saab.

“Of course we do. If you are afraid you cannot succeed in business. There are always difficulties. One has to find solutions, not just give up,” she was quoted by TT as saying.

Pang declined to answer if Youngman would consider becoming a minority owner in Saab, owned by Swedish Automobile.

I would have loved to get an answer to the question in the last paragraph. I suspect Youngmen to be the biggest problem for GM. They were pretty crisp when it came to pushing the original deal aside and demanded to take over 100%. GM’s refusal to accept this deal may set them back to their original share of 29.9%. They may even have to make further concessions. How far are they willing to go for the sake of the deal? And how much are they still willing to invest if they can’t obtain 100%?

WSJ cites Saab, namely Gunilla Gustavs, who also confirms talks:

Saab Automobile AB said Wednesday that it is discussing a new ownership structure with its Chinese investors, trying to save plans of selling the cash-starved company after former owner General Motors Co. objected to the deal.

“The purpose of these discussions is to find an ownership structure that everyone can agree on,” said Saab Automobile spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs, noting that the proposed 100% Chinese ownership “was an issue for GM.” Ms. Gustavs didn’t provide further details of the discussions.

So while Rachel Pang did not want to talk about the possibility of becoming a minor shareholder, Gunilla Gustavs confirms that an important issue right now is the ownership structure. This is something that raises the question which percentage for a certain owner would be acceptable for GM. I don’t want to speculate on this too much. But what I definetely read into it is that a future ownership structure there has to be a third partner in addition to Pang Da and Youngman – or SWAN needs to remain as a parent company.

Our old mate Swade has a cite on InsideSaab that looks like a piece from an internal statement:

Since GM’s statement on Monday night, we continue to work with Youngman and Pang Da to prepare to respond to GM’s questions on the proposed sale transaction of Saab Automobile AB to Pang Da and Youngman.
The Saab management team is preparing an in-depth communication package that clarifies the new business plan and the intentions for the future. The purpose is to present this to GM and clarify the intentions with the operations in China, thus seeking GM’s consent for the transaction through discussion and negotiations.

While this one talks about work on the sale of Saab to Pang Da and Youngman I tend to concur with Swade, who wrote that the actions Saab takes “include, but are not limited to” this.

Looking at the Swedish media I found something that seems to be from the same the interview with Rachel Pang that Reuters cited, here published by Sverigesradio:

The reorganization plan says that Chinese companies will pay 50 million euros, 450 million SKr. The entire amount has not yet paid, but according to Dagens Industri, was 50 million SKr into Saab’s account on Tuesday.

Are you going to pay 50 million?
– Yes, both Youngman and Pang Da working on it.
How fast?
– I am in a hurry. I can not talk more. I’ll be on a conference call.

While the last answer sounds a bit like comedy we may have to admit that she surely has quite a few conference calls these days. But if we take the Dagens Industri quote here for real and new money arrived this would show that there is still serious interst.

kcaco

spacy
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

.
If WE all mortgage our Houses, maybe we should buy Saab…..

zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Good luck with that idea!! 😉

Peter, Sweden
Member
4 years 10 months ago

It’s going to take a lot of houses to cover that sum of 2 billion euro that’s been talked about… Nice to hear Youngman’s commitment, I sure think this is THE keep-calm-and-carry-on-moment…

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Rachel Pang’s words is untrustable. As I remembered, before the creditor meeting at Nov. 1, she said there is not layoff in the future. Then after the Creditor meeting, there is 500…

JasonPowell
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t really know what my thoughts are with the proposed deal the way it sits, personally I feel a little uneasy… But in fairness to the layoffs, Rachel Pang and Youngman really had little they could do about this because it’s tied into the reconstruction with the courts. She would have been better served to say nothing about it because they are not in a position to control any of that yet.

Mark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Perhaps it’s more like the Lusitania with Detroit torpedo!

zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I dont think you can really blame GM for this. VM Made a lot of mistakes with the suppliers and that was really when the you-know-what hit the fan. Im cautiously optimistic.

Mark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t directly blame GM. I just think the Lusitania was a closer analogy! If you do your homework, you’ll see there has always been a lot of intrigue and controversy about that sinking. Actually I don’t think GM is being either malevolent or benevolent towards Saab. It is probably only trying to protect what it perceives as it’s interests, and keep it’s Chinese manufacturing partner SAIC happy.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yeah, but why did GM sell off the tooling for the 9-3 and older 9-5 to SAIC to begin with? Why didn’t they keep the brand intact try to sell off the whole brand to the Chinese, instead of carving it into pieces ias they did, making the brand less attractive to a potential buyer.

Sorry, I do blame GM, and I wasn’t an anti-GM person to begin with.

scand
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Saab sold the tooling after they were ” cut loose” from GM . Also, I think those platforms were pre GM, or at least so old, it didn’t matter much.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

No, I’m sorry but you are wrong. GM sold the tooling for the current 9-3 and the old 9-3 to BAIC during the period of time where they were “seeking” a buyer for SAAB Automotive, in December 2009, substanially reducing the value of SAABto any potential buyer in the process

http://www.worldcarfans.com/109121423523/gm-sells-saab-technology-to-beijing-auto

And both were GM platforms, the 9-3 being the Epision I platform, and the 9-5 being an old Opel platrform.

By the way here is Lutz’s feeling for SAAB, for anyone who needs a refresher:

http://blogs.ft.com/businessblog/2011/09/lutz-sheds-no-tears-over-saab-story/#axzz1dGc89SKr

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

That is the truth of the matter, and I don’t understand why this comment is awaiting moderation.

mike saunders
Member
4 years 10 months ago

GM/Saab sold off the tooling to old models because they were old models. They weren’t pre-GM, but neither the OG 9-3 nor the OG 9-5 had much value to GM any longer since they weren’t making those cars any longer.

If you wear a jacket (or play a video game, or buy a car) until you tire of it, but it’s still in fine condition, do you throw it away? Or do you sell it?

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yeap, the 200M go to GM not Saab. It is GM sold the old 9-3 and 9-5, not Saab.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Thank you Quickbird.

Obviously some other people don’t bother to get their facts straight, for whatever reason.

I had posted some links to news stories form that time regarding the BAIC sale but unfortunately posting links apparently triggers my comments to go into moderation for who-knows-how-long.

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago

It is BAIC not SAIC.
BAIC: Beijing Automotive IndustryHolding Co
SAIC: Shanghai Automotive Industry Co.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Quickbird:

Yes, thank you, I typoed SAIC in my first comment.

Unfortunately this website does not allowing editing after the fact, and I have been particularly typo-prone tonight.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

No I’m sorry, but again you’re wrong-the tooling sold was for the Epsilon I 9-3 (along with the old 9-5 (1998-2009). Saab dealers are still selling the Epsilon I 9-3 as an MY 2011 Saab 9-3.

Please get your facts straight.

http://www.worldcarfans.com/109121423523/gm-sells-saab-technology-to-beijing-auto

While details are scarce, GM will transfer tooling (for the current 9-3/9-5) and powertrain technology to BAIC.

Read more: http://www.worldcarfans.com/109121423523/gm-sells-saab-technology-to-beijing-auto#ixzz1dH0b7Jh5

Hopefully this comment won’t go to moderation as my other reply (ridiculously) did.

Jeff
Member
4 years 10 months ago

For future reference, any time you post more than one link, the spam filter automatically puts it into moderation. Just sayin’.

Mark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The OG9-3 and the OG9-5 plus the 9-3SS/SC pre 2007 tooling were sold to BAIC. Whilst BAIC has shown cars based on the OG9-5 and the pre 2007 9-3SS, it has yet to show anything that is based on the OG9-3 hatch. That would be quite interesting.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Mr. Saunders:

Please get your facts straight

The tooling sold in late 2009 by GM was for the Epsilon I 9-3, along with the old 9-5 (1998-2009). Saab dealers are still selling the Epsilon I 9-3 as an MY 2011 Saab 9-3. It is the current model 9-3

.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Mr. Saunders:

By the way, the headline to the story of the worldcarfans story I linked to regarding the BAIC sale in another comment of mine (but is still being herd for moderation as I write this) was:

GM Sells Saab Technology to Beijing Auto: The Butchering Begins….

rune
Member
4 years 10 months ago
There is only one little glitch with that worldofcarfans article: If the current 9-3 tooling was sold to BAIC, how come Saab kept making 9-3 last year (and the first quarter of this year)? It was reported at the time that it was the first generation 9-3 tools that were sold. That makes some sense, because what we observed was: No more first generation 9-5s produced, but 9-3 continued without disruption (except for the part where GM had put the plant into liquidation). I haven’t seen the tools in question. Maybe they had two set of tools. My understanding is… Read more »
Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Rune:

This definitely happened. There are many articles referencing this sale

Here is one from the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/business/global/14saab.html?_r=1&hpw

rune
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Fine, so it was a more recent version of the 9-3 being peddled (I think Markac has corrected me once before — I’m a slow learner), but I am still not sure of the relevance.

The BAIC deal was instrumental in Koenigsegg’s bid for Saab. My impression was at the time that it wasn’t GM who was the driving force behind the BAIC deal.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The BAIC deal was not instrumental in Koenigsegg’s bid for Saab.

The BAIC deal occurred after the Koenigsegg deal fell through.

And my recollection was that GM was the driving force for the BAIC sale, and that it was widely seen as the beginning of the end for Saab, i.e. when the parent company starts selling off components of Saab piecemeal, it is not a good sign..

rune
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Dreadnought: http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2009/12/saab-provide-more-information-on-the-baic-deal.html

BAIC was one of the important puzzle pieces that the Koenigsegg business plan hinged on. As the TTela article points out, the BAIC deal continued even after Koenigsegg pulled out. I am pretty sure the income from that deal stayed with Saab.

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The reason why GM sold the SAAB technology to BAIC is mainly because the original plan that BAIC and Koenigsegg to buy Saab doesn’t go through. Koenigsegg escaped from the deal at the last minute. And then GM was going to shut down Saab. Thus if GM can tear apart SAAB and sold piece by piece, of course it will do that….

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Why didn’t they wait, and include the tooling in the sale to Spyker? GM still had several interested suitors at the time, so what was the rush? But instead they couldn’t wait to canibalize the company. I used to be a GM backer, and part of the reason I bought my Saab in 2005 was out of loyalty to GM. And I have received nothing but mistreatment from the company since….; Lutz is particularly a jerk, as he used to talk up Saab all the time on his blog at that time. Now, out comes his self-serving memoirs, and it… Read more »
Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Oh, and furthermore, the 9-5 tooling that GM sold to BAIC was actually a current model also, at that time, as it was still being sold new at Saab dealers in late 2009. The sale to BAIC occurred well before the arrival of the new 9-5 at Saab dealers in the Summer of 2010.

GM Sells Saab Technology to Beijing Auto: The Butchering Begins….

I may make that my taqline on here. It is a very accurate characterization. And very telling considering it did not come from a Saab fansite, but rather from a general interest automotive site.

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago
“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,” From the deal GM done with BAIC, I think this so called “negatively impact GM’s existing relationships in China or otherwise adversely affect GM’s interests worldwide” is nothing. If proper license fee offer, I think GM will give a green light. But from a news I read (no sure it is reliable or not), the license fee GM request from YM/PD is $500M, this price makes no sense… greedy GM…
Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yep, you’re right. 500 Million is GM’s asking price, I read today.

A half billion.

Jeff
Member
4 years 10 months ago

If you knew the real number you’d laugh.

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago

What is the real number GM ask for?

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Oh and if you go to the message boards at the GM Inside Line site, you will see numerous posts from GM “fans” supporting GM’s position in this matter, with comments along the lines of “we need to keep GM strong”.

I hate to break it to these clowns, but the only thing that has kept GM “strong” was the coerced contribution from myself, and millions of other US taxpayers in the form of a bailout from the US government. A bailout that, to my eternal regret, i supported at the time.

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago

From the sales of auto maker this year, It seems that US government would lose that much money which it used to bailout GM.

quickbird
Member
4 years 10 months ago

sorry, it should be “wouldn’t lose that much money…..”

RS
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Dreadnought, didn’t Saab/Spyker get to keep the money from the tooling sales? I believe that’s where the ‘fully funded’ phrase originated.

Grumpy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

At least Saab got to keep a major share. But I am not sure where this discussion is leading.

The only important thing now is for Saab to work out their differences with GM. As long as that work continues behind close doors, preferably face to face, then I am fine.

Pie-throwing does not help at this stage.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Saab was still GM property at the time the sale was put through.

Of course GM could say that the money was used to keep Saab going at that time while a buyer was being sought, but then they would say that, wouldn’t they, since they no longer wanted to put any resources into the Saab.

Dreadnought
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The truth is not “pie throwing”.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Let’s briefly remember this year’s casualties, just as a little reminder to what is going on in the automotive industry: BRISTOL: went into administration, found a new investor who apparently wants to build electro cars by that name. This is disruptive for Bristol as a company. ALFA ROMEO: The production of the last Alfa engineered specifically for Alfa, built in a traditional Alfa plant stopped a week ago. The remaining MiTo and Giullietta are Fiat models, using Fiat parts, built in Fiat plants, that just happen to have a styling reminiscent of Alfa. LANCIA: Same as with Alfa. Most might… Read more »
TurboLover
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Ohh what a sad list 🙁

Mark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I quite liked the Lancia Beta HPE in another lifetime!

hans h
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The Chrysler 300 (an Ultimate American Car, and proud of it) will be sold in Europe as a Lancia which is weird as Lancia is a classic brand renowned for forward thinking.
If this “Lancia 300” is available with the pushrod Hemi V8, they will have made a car to compete with Saab 9-7x when it comes to raping a brand.
But if it saves Lancia for the future I might see it in a different light. Perhaps.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Having recently driven a 300C here in UK for a few days I dread to think what will happen to Lancia. Hideous car with woeful ride and handling. Big mistake.

Belfast_Saab
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yup Sorrel, having had a OG 300C tourer for a one year lease, I have to say that I enjoyed it for what it was, large, capacious and importantly it had novelty (I’m not a BMW) value for a while. But a Lancia, never!! At least badged as Chrysler you know what to expect. What rally/sporting heritage is it meant to portray as a Lancia? Criminal badge engineering. Sad for Lancia. Sad for Alfa.

TurboLover
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Agree Hans H. That is one of the worst badge enginering decissions ever taken 🙁

hans h
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I have read that a new Dodge Viper is coming. That is an amazing car in itself, but I am a little bit afraid that they will make a European version of that too. Lancia Viper, perhaps? =/

TurboLover
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Fiat Snok ?

MrTinkertrain
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Let’s think on a 10 year old Suzuki:)

Belfast_Saab
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Coming from Titanic’s birthplace, I can only repeat the often quoted explanation that ‘She was alright when she left here’.
I think that was similar to Victor’s portrayal of the apparent deal as it was launched a couple of weeks ago, but secretly (actually not, he had voiced concerns previously) he knew there was a need for more lifeboats as the 100% sale GM iceberg was unavoidable. I just hope the lifeboat is big enough for most of the Saab crew and their valuables as they chart a new course around the berg to less choppy waters.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 10 months ago

A nice analogy.. 🙂

Moody Saaber
Member
4 years 10 months ago
http://www.ChinaPost.com.tw ——————————————————————————– Sweden sees GM’s threat over China Saab rescue as ‘regrettable’: minister Thursday, November 10, 2011 AFP STOCKHOLM — A statement by General Motors this week threatening to block technology licenses if two Chinese companies buy Saab, clouding a rescue, was unfortunate the Swedish government said on Tuesday. “That was a regrettable announcement,” Swedish Enterprise Minister Annie Loeoef told reporters in Stockholm. Her comment came a day after GM said it would end technology-sharing licenses to Saab and stop supplying the 9-4– SUV model to its insolvent former subsidiary if it were acquired by Chinese companies Pang Da and… Read more »
spacy
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

.
Re; But GM said it would still supply some components

Memo,

Dear Customer,
Your car is ready, but will not have/have the following:

A GM chassis
Any GM Dashboard
GM Lights
GM Radio.

Etc, Etc.

Most parts will be available as accessories through the dealer shop, but will be made in China & not OEM….

TurboLover
Member
4 years 10 months ago

😀

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