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Just-Auto.com Brightwell

January 29, 2012 in News

From just-auto.com:

Turkish private equity company Brightwell Holdings is to make an imminent statement on retaining skilled engineers at Saab, following the inking of a confidentiality agreement with the bankrupt automaker’s receivers.

Some 4,000 workers face redundancy in Saab’s home town of Trollhattan, but Brightwell appears anxious to retain a core element of skilled staff in order to restart the business.

There have been reports of high attendance at job fairs in Trollhattan as the near 4,000 workforce seeks alternative employment, but Brightwell is looking to attract as many of the skilled engineers for example, as possible.

“At the end of the day, Saab will not be the entity we want it to be if we don’t have skilled engineers for local production,” Brightwell Holdings partner Zamier Ahmed told just-auto. “We will make a statement with regards to that in the very near future [when] we have a better picture of the positioning for our proposal.

“The core of Saab is the people – without these core people we don’t have a product. We will do everything we can to make sure we provide an intelligent and sustainable platform for former workers of Saab to work with us.”

Brightwell has been in regular contact with Saab for some time prior to its recent bankruptcy and appears to be one of two front-runners for the Swedish automaker, along with Chinese manufacturer, Youngman, although the Turks have now gone public with their confidentiality deal.

“We have signed a confidentiality agreement – we wait for the trustee to invite bids and we will make our proposal,” said Ahmed. “I am sure there are other parties – our Chinese friends Youngman have been making lots of noises and have been since last week.”

Ahmed also stressed Brightwell was looking to acquire Saab in its entirety and would not seek to break up the company. “It is either all or nothing,” he said, scotching any rumours Saab could be moved out of Sweden.

“We are not interested in bits and pieces – I want to keep Saab Swedish,” he said.

The regional government in Vastra Gotaland where Saab is situated, recently announced a series of measures worth SEK90m (US$13.3m) to try and ease the plight of mass redundancy in Trollhattan.

Among the measures were improved transport links to nearby Norway and Gothenburg, where Volvo is based, in a bid to alleviate what some have estimated could be up to 12,000 unemployed workers in both Saab and its supply chain.

Youngman was not immediately available for comment.

175 responses to Just-Auto.com Brightwell

  1. sounds to me a done deal !!

    • I would love to agree but let’s take a deep breath before we start swinging from the chandeliers.

      I very much hope, for the sake of the employees, dealers, and finally us fans, that SAAB can restart and bring the world the amazing cars they make.

      I want a 9-5 soooo badly… .

  2. I like what they have been saying, they seem to understand what’s important.

  3. Sounds good, GRIFFIN UP !!

  4. Hope the deal done with Turkish

  5. I say bring on Mahindra as they have real money.

    • + 1 need the presence of owners with deep pockets to provide backing for my investment. i am currently without a saab and would only return if youngman/mahindra or the like take over.

      • Bit one-sided, isn’t it? We have no idea how much money Brightwell have or haven’t at their disposal or about their standing re. GM and/or the government of Turkey and/or banks in Turkey or elsewhere. Same applies to Youngman, we think and/or hope they have the backing of some big capital providers in China and Chinese authorities but know nothing for sure. How is the situation regarding the approval of the deal by the NDRC? And how will they cope with the ‘nein’ from GM? Who knows what Mahindra wants and what funds they can and will allocate if they really want anything at all? They haven’t made even one public statement so far so it may all be either very serious or just hot air blowing.

        I suggest we refrain from playing favourites and expressing strong opinions about any of the potential players as long as we lack the knowledge required to form an educated opininon about what buyer we prefer.

        Ivo

        • I agree—-we don’t have enough information to make declarations. But APPEARANCES are that Youngman and Mahindra are better qualified to finance Saab and also have the know-how to sell around the world—-economies better developed than Turkey. Personally, I think Mahindra is the one that would come the closest to a real global rejuvination of Saab—-making cars already, having a lot of money to spend, having a burning motivation to move upmarket—-enter markets where they need dealers, etc. Just my opinion, but based on sketchy facts, I admit that. Right now, we have to trust the receivers with doing the right thing. My only concern with Brightwell is if they really are committed to this in the long run—-as a manufacturer and seller of cars—-or is this some sort of “investment” and we’ll be back here discussing it in a few years—-with another sale pending.

  6. I don’t know who said it, but I think it fits quite well. Now we will see a beauty contest. So before the bidding starts, everyone will promise anything. But one thing is important, and I would call it lessons learned, the one with the highest bid must also have the highest cash reserves, otherwise it won’t take long till we start hopping once again.

  7. Bring it on!
    But soon…….I can’t take this much longer ;)

  8. Sounds like we are going to have a signed and accepted deal within the next 2 weeks. At last there is ray of hope to cheer up all our saddened Saab hearts. Come on Brightwell, as long as you have substantial financial reserves/backers.

  9. Let’s wait and see what GM says about Brightwell.

    I wonder if GM would actually prefer a group WITHOUT real auto expertise since they would appear less threatening?

  10. Hmm, the Turks are starting to impress me. AWSOME.

  11. Good news, absolutely! It is so difficult to think which of these 3 biiders is my favorite. But if BW gets as an only one a permit to produce 9-5, then they might be first ones in my list. My heart beats for YM, they have been involved such a long time. Mahindra is still a wild card, they haven´t said anything officially. Might it be they in the end who clean the table? But the situation where we were in 19th Dec, is now totally different and way much better. Saab´s future will start soon. Phoenix arises!

    • German blogs talk about a fourth bidder, and the visit to the factory of a fifth one. But it is not clear if those bidders want to buy Saab as a whole or only some assets.

      • Sounds even more interesting. It will be very interesting game. I hope the solution will be such which is probably the highest bid, showing biggest amount to invest to Saab not emptying the whole wallet and full commitment to Saab brand including production in Sweden.

      • Now in TTELA, Hans Bergqvist, one of the recievers confirms that there are four to five seriuos bidders who want to buy the whole factory. So, German blogs seems to have known this…

      • Wel, if German blogs knew about it befire SU did than it would seem to be reasonable to surmise that at least one of those interested parties is German.

        Ivo

    • But what if the permission to build also limits where they could sell? We’re talking about GM, corporate hooligans.

  12. It’s sounds good of course! But it is important that a potential buyer of Saab hav enough of money to run the company without any large problem and I hope that Brightwell has that.

  13. Some BH officials are said to be in Detroit. Lets see if they enjoy the trip…

  14. But I have still this displeasing feeling with GM in the background. I would prefer a solution without them and substitute, if possible, the missing components of the Phoenix platform by other suppliers.

  15. was wondering how the people of Sweden feel towards GM, would anybody in the country buy a GM vehicle

    • I sure as hell won’t. Not just because they killed Saab but also because they make rubbish cars.

      • I’m here in the U.S. and can confirm that the cars are rubbish (at best).
        They should have never been bailed out.

        • You can say that again! +1

        • Couldn’t agree more! In 2009 During GM’s financial troubles I owned a 2006 Yukon XL which had 24,000 miles on it and the transmission went out. It was under the mileage restriction of 30K to be covered under their warranty but over the time frame of the 3 yrs. by 3 months. I had maintained it as recommended and it was up to date on all services. When this happened my GM service mgr. told me he was sure they would cover this because he had never seen a transmission go out so early on a vehicle like this and especially one that has never pulled anything! Well much to his surprise and my anger, they denied my request to have this covered under the warranty. They wanted me to spend another $5500 to repair it. The service mgr. was a great guy and tried his hardest by calling and writing letters with service records in my defense but didn’t get anywhere. Unbelievable how they could cry for a bail out and not be concerned about their existing customers or be willing to offer some help like they wanted. That was the defining moment for me, and it became very obvious from that point on that GM had no interested in anyone but GM. The writing was on the wall. At this time, I owned a 2006 9-5 aero, 2006 9-3 2.0T, 2008 Turbo-X, along with 2 1992 900 Convertibles. The only vehicles I have owned over the last 20yrs. were Saab and GM (trying to support GM because of SAAB). All I heard was GM crying for the bail out and saying that without it thousands of people would loose their jobs! Where is the same sympathy for SAAB GM? Not only don’t they care about their customers they don’t care about the thousands of other people loosing their jobs at SAAB! And they have done nothing but block every attempt made by potential buyers for SAAB. It seems very clear to me that GM has a goal to destroy SAAB. They got their bail out and nothing and no one else matters! I will NEVER EVER, EVER buy another GM as long as I live! I’m not sure about how Karma works……….but in this case, I truly hope it happens!!!!! LONG LIVE SAAB!!!

      • Precisely.
        They tried to kill off the only car they make which is not rubbish, Corvette, a few years ago. Which of course is typical for GM, but makes no sense for anybody else.

    • The general public in Sweden doesn’t know anything about GM and that GM that owns Opel. Most people don’t hate GM or Opel, they hated the guts out of Saab instead.

      • I am a little bit confused about your statement… You think the general public in Sweden doesn’t know GM tried to kill Saab?

        • That is correct. The general public that isn’t interested in cars don’t know anything about GM.

          • That’s a very interesting point—-we are so involved in this—-but I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of Americans—-even people in the market for a car—don’t even know yet about Saab’s situation. They’d have to be told.

  16. Redj, it’s all or nothing, and new bidders should know that. I still hope for à strong german car brand. They know what it takes to make à brand à succes. As long as it’s not Opel . But they’re GM and would be unlikely .Vag is imo no bidder, they already have Brands’ in all categories. From sportscars to cheap. Luxury to middle of the road. Guess BMW could be a good club. Mercedes anounced that they would like/need to grow in the near future. Maybe also a possible bidder? Jawohl! Like that.

    • both Mercedes(Chrysler) and BMW (Rover, Rolls Royce) have been burned in the past and will presumably prefer growing on their own. Mercedes has problems of their own, as they have lost lots of their premiium image in Germany.

      • BMW has been burned, but has also a great success in Mini. So I think they would prefer to buy a brand with limited manufacturing and rebuild it.. which is what is required at SAAB. The Phoenix was already designed with BMW powertrains in mind, so it could be a really good fit. Platform sharing with Mini for some SAAB cars and their desire to sell a FWD product also make the fit REALLY, REALLY good. I think FIAT would also be a very good fit, but BMW would be even better IMHO. For SAAB to get bought by BMW or FIAT would be outstanding.

  17. This is very old news (2 days ago).

    Sound just like North Street Capital.

    Used as a tool to bring more money from YM.

    YM will simply ignore this noise.

    BH has only chance if backed up by Turkish government, otherwise, where does the money come from? Billions euro.

    • CSD, could you please refrain from slamming BW or questioning their motives. We don’t want to alienate anyone who shows interest in picking up SAAB from the ground and continue with the brand.
      It’s the receivers job to collect all the necessary information and make the critical decisions for the future.
      What ever it is, it won’t please everyone. The new owner is going to need our support in a big way in the coming years. Lets try and keep the enthusiasts as united as possible. Thanks.

  18. Why is it taking so long to recieve Bids from the Chinese and Turkish companies?? Is GM stalling the process? Each day that goes by, the Saab name is getting tarnished with headlines, production and engineers are leaving the company. Im really praying that Saab can be saved and just start from scratch. GM should have sympathy for saab. Just about 2 years ago they were bailed out by the governement. To me this all should have been avoided before the bankrupcty. GM could have a least give saab 1 model to work with and sold them off to another company.

    Never buy GM vehicles

  19. Youngman was not immediately available for comment.

    =

    The whole YM stuff is on Chinese New Year holidy.

    But they are here in Sweden tomorrow, with real big cashes, not hot air blah blah ;-)

  20. Google: Brightwell Holdings

    And what a pity, you found almost nothing about this company.

    • Actually, you can find quite a bit if you dig a bit deeper, for instance using the names of the two partners. But I’ll give you that not a lot of information can be found about their own net worth. It would seem to me that, judging by the scope of the deals they have done so far, they would require some serious financial backing to come up with the funds for both buying Saab, restart production and develop the company further.

      On the other hand, we have no information either about the financial scope of Youngman’s and their financial backing by either banks or authorities. Morever, we don’t know anything about the position of NDRC in this matter and nothing tangible about how they plan to keep Saab alive until the first Phoenix-based, BM-free car can be launched.

      I, for one, have no preferences right now. Let the best and richest one buy Saab and save the brand. I don’t care all that much about where they come from. I just want Saab to ‘live long and prosper’ and don’t really give a hoot under what flag that happens, as long as it happens.

      Ivo

      • That should read GM-free… Apologies for all the typos. Whatever happened to the correction option?

        Ivo

      • I don’t care where the saver comes from either. I just remember the bad experience with NSF + VM, now again it is BH+VM.

        I mean, get real, this SAAB deal is a serious one, not hot air funds.

        The thing is a Private Investment company itself has no money at all, it must convince the real money owers to invest in your projects.

        I do know YM is backed up by not only their #1 luxury bus company, and also local banks and a very rich local Fund ( a very rich investors group of billionairs).

        • Sorry, NSC iso NSF.

          And if there are real serious investors interested in Saab, then VM should have found them long time ago, the Saab’s problem of past year was to find the money, in the end VM can only find money from Chinese.

          Btw, I think VM’s relation with YM is very bad now, otherwise VM will not be busy with BH this momeny.

          • Is there any other “evidence” about VM supporting BW than that they were together in Saab-event in Holland? I would be careful to think what VM supports or not. I think he is happy whatever company buys Saab just if manufacturing starts again.

          • How much influence does VM have left in this decision? Any? I don’t want personal spats/egos driving what happens here. The receivers need to find the best company that can make this work—-money, background, etc.

            • If I was going to make a bid for all of Saab, I would sure like to talk to the last person that worked out the deal to buy Saab from GM…for lessons learned, knowing what is involved with the GM agreements,etc. VM has said he wants to help make sure (in what way he can) that a new owner can restart Saab and keep it in Trollhattan. So why do people keep assuming that VM has some hidden motive?

              • I don’t think he has a hidden motive—-but sometimes it gets too personal when you’ve been as involved has he has been, putting his heart and soul into Saab and seeing it crash down. Bad analogy maybe—-but why do you think they don’t want surgeons operating on their own family members?

                • Sorry, Angelo. I did not meant to imply you thought VM had some sort of hidden motive. I have just seen some people who seem to think so.

                  I agree that VM may have some personal feelings tied up in this, but to understand all the history of the dealings with GM and the contracts, there is probably nobody who knows more about it. I am sure the people from Brightwell are talking to others besides VM also, but I am not surprised they are talking to him too.

        • I don’t know much about bankruptcy buyouts but if Brightwell put in a serious bid, wouldn’t they have to show proof of their funding? I mean, those receivers are no fools, are they? This can’t be another hot air thing like the NSC stunt, Brightwell really need to prove to the receivers they actually do have the money at their disposal to buy Saab. If they don’t then the receivers wouldn’t even want to waste time by talking to them, would they?

          Still, from a more emotional point of view, I kind of tend to prefer Youngman because they already have shown some serious commitment by investing many millions in keeping Saab afloat even before it went bankrupt. Which, of course, doesn’t necessarily have to mean that they are the best possible solution foor Saab as it is now. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

          Ivo

  21. Good thought, Ivo.

  22. Brightwell starts on a new terrain with the bid for an automotive company. Could they handle Saab, do they have automotive knowledge and contacts to suppliers? An investor need money, knowledge, partners to make Saab 93 GM IP free and partners on at least one BRIC market to ramp up volume.
    The story with an agreement with 95 and 94x looks like a dream to me.

    • GM already stated not to borrow IP to ANY other companies, so no 94/95 no matter who gets the deal.

      • Big companies aren’t always consequent in what they say in public. Money talks, even to GM. Saabs selling well in Turkey (where GM’s presence is just about non-existent) and generating a steady stream of money would please GM no-end as long as Turkish sales are no skin off their nose.

        Ivo

        • Hello Ivo
          Saabs not selling less than 100 annually in Turkey, which is not well. But considering almost 80 million population, almost 50% of them would be glad to see Saab is somewhat connected to their nation and I bet Saab sales would be more than thousands annually only in Turkey. I hope you appreciate some insider info from a Turk.
          Have a nice day.

  23. I want to like BH, but the rumors I hear about them wanting an all EV lineup is truly worrying to me as turbocharging is Saabs crowning jewel.
    Youngman is still my favorite favorite’s they have the money and I feel like they understand the brand more. BH hasn’t taken the time out to understand the brand like Youngman has…

    • Turbocharging was Saab’s sandbox but not anymore. Look at BMW, they are now rolling out new TRI-turbo’s.

      The turbo lag on my NG 9-5 is far more than on my Volvo XC70 w/ T6. Makes sense, Saab should have engineered a true twin-turbo design (two separate turbos) to boost both banks of the V-6 configuration. A twin-scroll turbo is perfect for the straight six designs of Volvo and BMW.

  24. There are some concerns about money, let me tell you Alphan Manas, the CEO BH, is one of the richest man in Turkey.

  25. Whoever gets their hands on Saab, really need to deal with GM in the future.
    Their business cannot rely on GM, IP more than 2-3 years down the road, as GM could [and probably will] stamp on them & then their business plan is up in the air again.

    By all means [if it is possible] keep GM in the loop now, but no long term contracts, etc.
    This is of course the new owners choice, but they really should look towards the History for where they do not want to go.

    BW may well be the saviors of Saab, & they have shown [above] they do not have much space for YM, but there may well be an opening for BW [assuming they get Saab] to deal with YM, even as a partner [Sch'', don't tell GM), as YM will have all the ''in's'' to Chinese part makers of many that could be needed to replace existing IP.

    Given a BW & YM partnership [or similar], we could see a real Global Company developed out of the Saab ashes, but without GM.

  26. Billions in euro’s?

    • does it matter? :) He already has lots of money, and he has masters degree of hunting and gathering cash. Another fact; his father is the guy who brought internet to Turkey years ago.

      • I dont like where this is going, i just wanted say BH has no money issues, because i know none of you have any clue who they are.
        Well at the big picture, its all about the plan, the desire, the need. May Saab win.

        • I was not implying anything regarding BW’s [BH] worthiness or any Money issues..””

        • Truth be told, some of us did a little ‘due diligence’ on Brightwell on the web. And it revealed, to me at least, that mr. Manas a. holds, in fact, a Greek degree in textile manufacturing, b. is a highly active inventor who holds hundreds of technological patents, c. is, as tmra writes, very very wealthy and also that Brightwells investments so far haven’t exceeded a 100 million euros per deal. Bear in mind that the Saab adventure would require something like 2 billion euros.

          Moreover, none of these investments were in the serious automotive sector bar the -unsuccesful- attempt to buy a French coachbuilding company with an unprofitable EV in their portfolio and the acquisition of a kind of -also French- electrical crosspollination of a scooter and a cyclecar. Allof their other investments concerned mostly green tech (p.e. boat engines), telecommunication and betting software.

          If my information is incomplete, please do feel free to correct.

          Ivo

  27. i think right at the last minute, Kellogs are going to come in with a bid !!

  28. Haha, kellogs has also billions. (cornflakes ):)

  29. If it is better to maintain some sort or relationship with GM to get things going near term then Turkey seems to be the way to go. Youngman and GM are both pawns in a global political and trade war between the two superpowers and I don’t want Saab involved when it al falls apart. Of course, Turkey shares a border with Syria, Iraq and Iran. A

    • I also would like to remind you another fact, many foreign flagged corporations have running factories all around Turkey, such as; FIAT, Ford, Renault and Land Rover in Bursa, Opel in Izmir, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai in Kocaeli, Mercedes and MAN (both Bus&Truck) in Istanbul, New Holland (Tractor) in Ankara.

  30. BW have already stated that, inter alia their bid will be conditional on GM approval. So, it looks as though they are going to play the ‘we have GM on side and can start production immediately of the existing product line’ card, if they can. OTOH YM may well arrive tomorrow with a mountain of cash and with a carefully planned GM-free strategy. That must include some short-term tactics for getting production of something up and running and some incentives for the dealerships, which are now hurting badly. Others seem to be keeping their cards close to their chest and may very well surprise and excite us with their plans in due course.

    All this means, of course, (to quote another contributor, who posted a week or so ago) that the bottom line is that Saab will be saved. And we all know that, if properly supported, the brand may have a spectacularly exciting future ahead.

    Personally, I think that it may time to slip into extremely positive mode with little fear of disappointment. It is no longer a case of ‘if’ the brand has a future, but how that future will emerge. Journalists are generally well behind the reality of this one.

  31. Swade thinks Saab insiders like Mahindra as the most trustworthy choice for Saab:
    http://www.swadeology.com/

  32. perhaps Turkey has more leverage with GM, and can threaten to disadvantage GM in the Turkish market if they do not play ball with Brightwell. IMHO if Brightwell buys SAAB we will see the 9-5 and 9-4X return….

    • As Turkey has been trying for years to get into the EU as a fulled fledged member, how does the EU feel about a country throwing its weight around like that?

      Also, what would the WTO do if Turkey decided to take an action like that? I’m sure there would be a protest and possible retaliatory actions by the US.

      Everyone complains about GM getting special treatment (which I believe they did). But Turkey stepping in would not be?

  33. 4-5 interested parties want to buy the whole of Saab. Interesting week ahead :)

    http://www.svd.se/naringsliv/fem-vill-kopa-hela-saab_6806827.svd

  34. Brightwells web page indicates they electric vehicles are an area of focus:

    http://www.brightwell.com.tr/page.asp?id=53&mid=52

    so we could see them lean heavily towards EVs and Hybrids if they acquire SAAB.

  35. Let’s see what the situation in a couple of days. There’s a lot of emotion in this thread.
    I would say: Show me your wallet, show me the business case, show me how to work around GM. If OK – deal. No race on some more money.

    I see not one party getting the deal. It’s better to see a partnership (supply, manufacturing and sales) to address asian and the old market demands.

    • Now now, Saab is not a princess at this moment, Saab is a big burden.

      The reality is also not that any potential party will die without Saab.

      Saab and Sweden need to turn down their tone, it is not Saab saves others but the other way around.

      • But Saab is currently the only brand and company able to do innovations. Technical skilled on the state of the art. Engineers will come back/ stay.
        The receivers are not in the position to say please place a bid. But to get Saab on the healthy track time is an issue. The people of Saab are the value of Saab. They need a signal.

  36. Show me your money otherwise no bullshiits

    Money talk bullshit fly

    Saab needs hard bucks no hot air no emotion nothing but hard bucks.

    For anyone who saves SAAB, I open a bottle to celebrate.

  37. From ttela: 4-5 buyers for Saab

    http://ttela.se/ekonomi/ttekonomi/1.1510882-fem-vill-kopa-hela-saab

    What do we know?
    1. Youngman China
    2. Brightwell Turkey
    3. Mahindra India
    4. ?
    5. ?

    There has been rumors of a Swedish bid, and a bidder from western europe.
    Maybe Jaguar flush with cash from Tata is trying to build up a new auto-group like VW-Audi-Skoda, or maybe a Norweigan bid through koenigsegg who left a deal because of GM.

    • 4.: Magna ?
      5.: Rumored Swedish group?

      What? That’s all? Come on! ;-)

      Regarding Jaguar, I don’t think that they or Tata have the money. It would also only make sense if Jaguar had not yet decided on the platform to be used for the planned X-type successor. Latest information indicates that Jaguar actually decided to go FWD, instead of RWD, for this car, so Phoenix _could_ be that platform. But I would guestimate that Jaguar will use a Ford platform, probably the EUCD (if they are still allowed).

  38. The last sentences in my last comment was my own speculation.

  39. Another GM Executive from ATT has “retired.” So even the new GM guys are becoming the “old guys.” If it makes money for GM they will do it. If they THINK it will cost them money then they are going to say no.

    Just a thought.

    • GM is now negotiating with SAIC trying to sell more Opel’s in Chinese market.

      Opel sold only 5500 cars in China last year.

      After SAIC got MG/Rover, why no interest in Saab, still beyond my understanding, but well they are the big boss ;-)

      • Oh well often it is the fact that stupid people sitting in management team

        LOL

      • well MG/ Rover & SAIC..
        Opel is a company with no international flavour – it’s not a brand like we know Saab.
        What’s the strategy to come to the world market with SAIC. Do they’ve the skills to fit demands of the other markets?

        • SAIC is selling MG6 in UK, and Baoyun in India.

          The new MG serie is selling well in China, and their new MG SUV is doing well too.

          • Sorry, Baojun not Baoyun.

            Baojun is made together with GM.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_6
            MG6 is like Ford Focus or maybe a bit bigger? The UK are part of europe but they’re on an island. The people in the UK drive on the other side on the road (right hand drive cars vs. left hand drive cars in the rest of europe and they’re thinking different to europe people – worked for an UK based company years ago (brilliant developments but don’t understand the european market)). What’s the sale in whole europe and the US of the MG6?
            “The new MG serie is selling well in China” it’s like the thinking of GM – single minded. They can’t understand since years that Cadillac doesn’t sell good in europe. Trust me, I’m in sales – nobody knows why :D

            • Indeed not selling well in UK (yet).

              Hah well, Chinese are in no hurry to enter Europe market, it takes some time, say 5 to 10 years, time flies, and see what Kia and Hyundai have done in Europe market, they are dammn conquering the market, while 10 years ago it was like a joke :)

            • Read that the MG6/Roewe550 sells about 90000 units in China, and is planned for 2000-3000 in the UK. Assembled at the Longbridge plant from knocked down kits.

          • Not selling well in the UK though

    • It’s not worth the time to deal with GM. They’re different.

      • Yes, but their big.

      • GM will be in bankruptcy themselves in the future—-right now, they’re coasting on billions and billions in loans. Contrary to what they want you to believe, this is not a product driven rebirth. The centerpiece of that was the Volt and they’ve sold less than 8000 of them after spending billions on development and promotion. They even have $7500.00 tax write-offs available from the U.S. government to anyone crazy enough to buy one—-still can’t move them. Their “rebirth” isn’t product driven—-it’s loan driven.

    • Great to see there are a number of interested parties in Saab.

      BUT the key point of this all is who can give Saab a good future.

      IMHO it’s only YM which enjoys a huge home market.

      TBO:
      Saab has very little future in European market, nor in India or Turkey. N.America can be a different story but Saab can not sell very big numbers there either.

      Only Chinese market, 20 million new cars in 2011, about 40 million new cars in 2020, and Chinese are fond of luxury brands.

      Saab’s new life is China, no doubt.

      India market will grow, but for Saab, IMO very little chance to make big volume sale.

      • Turkey is not an expanding market like the BRIC countries. What happens after the economy in china has reached it’s end (whenever it will happen (soon or later))? Is the chines market a stable market for the next decades (customer base) or is it a short time view (I would say mid time)? Politics and economic can change. What’s the key of success of china?

        • China’s economy growth with annual 8 to 10% will keep anther 20 years.

          The key is: harding working, and smart people. Eastern Asians have highest IQ in the world LOL (see wikipedia).

          And of course, emphasis on education, each year 5 million college students graduate.

          And a BIG landmass, a LONG history and culture.

          • And we really do NOT worry that much of Oil or other resources.

            • The fast growth of middle class families (with annual income of 20,000 to 40,000 USD), that explains why BMW, MB, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati etc having China as the largest market right now (a few being #2 after USA, but well USA will be sided just in 1 or 2 years).

              • Really – 20k – 40k? Not many people here in the US that make that kind of money are buying ANY of the brands you listed, nor even Saabs. While looking up that highest IQ in Wikipedia, I also noticed that the per capita income in China was ranked 90th, at around $5k USD. IQ highest? That’s a shame it’s wasted on the 97th ranked education index, also in Wikipedia. You’re advocacy for your country is admirable but it’s approaching the kind of propaganda the Chinese government likes to spread about.

                “Saab has very little future in European market, nor in India or Turkey. “People here may root for a new owner, even if Chinese, but because they want to buy Swedish Saabs in the future, in Europe, in the US, in Australia, etc., not just so a small percentage of Chinese have one to call their own.

                • Wanna know why those in the US don’t buy these brands? The roads in America is mostly straight, so why bother? Get a big comfy Limo or Muscle car.

                  I like how you Americans think just because you can’t do something, you make sure others can’t as well. Please, stop acting like a big “Bro” to countries, and do what you did in Vietnam, broken promises.

                • No offense intended by the way.

                • China’s GPD per capita is now low because of Communism in last century. But now things change fast, China is no more Communist more.

                  China’s economy is growing very fast, and that 5000 USD GPD is change rate, real PPP is much higher.

  40. Let me make this clear at this important moment:

    For SAAB to live long long long great life, you need:
    1. Big bucks NOW to first SAVE Saab
    2. Big market in FUTURE to BRING BACK Saab’s glory.

    Lacking any one of the above two, Saab is doomed (again)

    • Yes true.

      Saab’s glory is the stable customer base and to expand this base. But there’re are switching customers. They need to be welcomed addressed, to stand by. To get part of Saab – to feel Saab.
      In the past Saab is feeled to be “quirky” – I don’t like this sentence. The 95-II and 94x showed the potential of Saab. That’s a new point of view of Saab. Nice but dangerous. They left their niche.

    • YM’s strategy for the next 1-2 years will be the key, as to them getting Saab.

      • Yes. If Phoenix is like we want to see it it’s the key after this period – a morphing platform a symbiosis of all demands.

        • We must be realistic, PhoeniX is cool, but we can NOT expect new Saab based on PhoeniX will be like a BOMB in the market, nobody is actually waiting in the query to order new Saabs.

          We have to find the REAL market, and TO BE HONEST, Saab can forget WEST, must go EAST, there is the FUTURE.

          • Serious automakers will still have a presence in North America—-Canada, U.S., Latin America—-if those markets are ignored, it’s a second rate effort.

    • There might be other multiple ways to enter the Chinese market other then to be Chinese owned. At this point M&M seems to have deeper pockets, an English speaking corporate language, no government interferance, production facilities in many countries globally.
      YM had their shot at buying Saab but had to let it go bankruptcy.

    • After some thinking, I believe you have a point in your market argument. Youngman could probably more easily open the Chinese market, because owning Saab would trigger some kind of national pride. We had seen that with the Nederlands and Spyker-owned Saab already. On the other hand, I could not find indications that the Indian market (2 million cars in 2010) had particularly welcomed Jaguar after they were bought by Tata. Jaguar’s segment appears to be dominated by German manufacturers in India.

      Brightwell in turn might be able to not only have better access to the Turkish market (1 million units in 2010), but might also find sympathy in other moslem states, like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. These are very rich markets.

      A complicated situation indeed.

    • CSD, cool down will you! The last thing I want to read on SU is some wild speculation about ”the doomed future” without YM, even before the company is sold. Guess where the press pick up their BS? Right, from internet comments like these. Lets see how long it takes before they start again… I pray this time it would be different.

      But to reply to your claims.
      a) Who says Saabs can’t be sold in China without YM ownership? I’m sure there are a number of companies who’d like to distribute them. Nothing to do with Chinese ownership.
      b) Honestly I don’t want to see Saab becoming a car brand that only sell well in Asia! Whoever takes over must have a strategy for the Western markets. Its the sales in Sweden, Germany, UK and NA that gives credibility to the manufacturer, as Saab needs to be competitive first and for most in their home market. Remember my previous Arctic Circle references? I laugh every time I see the Acura commercial when they brag how; ”-We go to Minnesota every year to test our cars” (drifting on ice for a day?).

      The new owner IMHO got to come out with a competitive/updated NG 9-3 Griffin (interior, eXWD?) and it will carry them through the next two years when hopefully JC 900 is ready to kick some butt IN EUROPE, shortly followed by a 9-1/9-2 and a real luxury 9000/9-5.

  41. This is quite good-sounding quote to me:

    “The core of Saab is the people – without these core people we don’t have a product. We will do everything we can to make sure we provide an intelligent and sustainable platform for former workers of Saab to work with us.”

  42. By reading various posts from the turkish and german press it appears that turkish businessmen have shown a great interest in building electrical cars in the country. Alphan Manas appears to have had a deal with the french company Heuilez, but the latter went bankrupt so he is on the look out for other international partners. Maybe he wants now to secure and use swedish support (through the remaining saab engineers and trollhattan-based factory) and at the same time GM’s support (for its advanced technology) to start manufacturing electric cars in Turkey and make his dream come true.
    If this is his purpose of acquiring saab then no one can guarantee that saab will revive the way it used to be. Most obviously the trollhattan-based factory will be sort of an engineering and design center for the electric cars produced in Turkey.

  43. TTela have stated that up to 5 serious parties are interested in SAAb as a whole.
    Could one of those interested parties be FIAT? They were sniffing around SAAB heavily back in 2009???

    • Fiat ???

      Bring back the 9000 !!! :):)

      • I think FIAT would be a really good fit. The Chrysler acquistion has gone quite well, so I think they are emboldened to make another move. The synergy with Alfa and Lancia would also be very good as they need more volume for those near lux platforms that are quite costly to develop. PLUS I think as part of the break up deal (abortive GM attempt to acquire FIAT)they already have quite a a few licenses from GM.

      • One sentence to summarize Saab’s problems ;-)

    • Fiat? No way. They are busy merging Chrysler and the Fiat brands. Look at the state that Fiat is in. Alfa Romeo and Lancia are more or less dead. The “upper” segment is planned to be served by Chrysler (“Lancia” Thema, muaahahaha).

      • And replying to myself ;-), some time ago, I also thought that Fiat might be a good idea. But now Fiat’s scheme unfolds, and it clearly shows that there are no bigger European-built cars in their future, as the demise of the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thesis, and Alfa 159 have shown. The biggest car in Fiat production presenty is the Lancia Delta.

    • Hopefully James May’s new car will be a Saab 9-1 if Fiat takes over:)

    • fix it again today, fix it again tomorrow, FIAT would not be the choice of saab owners…

  44. According to the latest news in Turkish press BH is about to make a bid this week. Also another interesting news is that the one of the new bidders is Lotus. Source(use google translator) http://www.ntvmsnbc.com/id/25317864

  45. If the unknown bidder comes from Europe then it’s hard to be FIAT Group (even if this sounds great). A couple of months ago FIAT’s CEO announced that the Group’s sales in 2012 are expected to fall by as much as 35%.
    Thant alone makes FIAT a hard-to-be bidder for Saab.

  46. At least I refrain from making the “naive” assumption to expect someone with big pockets and big money (as I see many times in this blog) to come and save Saab (and Saab to continue its operation as it was used to be in the past). At this point (after bankruptcy) everyone who is interested in Saab has their own intentions that serve their own plans and purpose. Unfortunately, this is the truth and a realistic scenario.
    The Swedish government wants to get back the 217 mil. euro paid to EIB.
    GM wants to make the most profit out of what is left from Saab.
    The creditors want to get paid for the money Saab owns to them.
    So this is the target!
    Nobody from those interested parties cares if Saab survives. They have their own plans in mind!

    • I am guessing the debtholders will be offered a small amount of cash, some deferred bond for the rest of the debts. …

    • I tend to agree on the fact that no one with deep pockets is going to buy Saab and make the same mistakes that put them in bankruptcy. “Deep pockets” doesn’t mean they want their pockets to be shallow in a couple years, with nothing to show for it. I think some of these bidders might have a vision though—-that will save the Saab brand and expand the offerings. I’ve been lobbying for someone to reinvent Saab as a company that is closer to their original mission of value priced, entry level cars—-not that it should mean abandoning the upper end of the market—-but it means realizing that they won’t survive with models starting in the mid-30s and going to 50, US. If the companies with the most interest are in China and India, I’ve got to imagine that they might address the need for something closer to 20K U.S. to rebuild a customer base. Yes—-I will agree that it’s naieve to think that anyone with the resources to buy Saab for all these millions of dollars will revert to “business as usual” when/if they restart a car line.

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