Swedish delegation back from the China trip

I’ve found three articles on the net talking about the Swedish delegation that visited Youngman in the last days. What they say is quite promising and shows that Youngman has a genuine intention regarding Saab and its future.

I would like to comment those three articles chronologically, as it shows how the story has developed.

The first of it is from just-auto.com and is from Thursday January 19. (thanks to mnztr for the link)

European supplier body CLEPA has arranged for a Chinese-speaking Bosch representative to be on today’s (19 January) Youngman-sponsored trip to China in a bid to evaluate its potential new EUR1bn offer for bankrupt Saab.

“We have arranged for Bosch to send an experienced [person] on China,” CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto from Brussels. “The Bosch person there is Chinese-speaking, knows the environment [and] knows Youngman in and out.

The CLEPA, who is very interested in the future of Saab, has sent a experienced Chinese speaking person with the delegation. There can be only one reason for that, namely CLEPA wants to support the Youngman bid, but they want to be sure they not only get the PR-movie.

On the further paragraphs Mr. Homqvis, CLEPA CEO, becomes a little bit fuzzy about the 9-3, but at least we get a better insight on Youngman’s plans.

Holmqvist added Youngman’s new plan would not involve the contentious 9-4X and 9-5 licences, but would rather focus on developing the 9-3 model as well as Lotus variants and the Saab Phoenix architecture.

“The 9-3 is not a big risk to GM – there has to be a limit to how nasty they can be.”

Saab needed a licence from GM to build the 9-5 and the 9-4x, GM has clearly said that they won’t grant those licences to anyone any time. So those two models will be present in any book about Saab as the Spyker/SWAN Saabs. But the 9-3 seems to be different. I’ve read that not even Mr. Cain is really sure if Saab has build this car under licence of GM, or if GM was just acting like a Tier-1 supplier and delivering parts to Saab like Bosch, Denso, Hella, Continental,…

Let me tell one thing to Mr. Cain: GM made a contract with Spyker, somewhere in those contracts must be the answer to that question.

But coming back to the fuzziness of those two sentences from Mr. Holmqvist. On my eyes, the first time he talks about the 9-3, he is talking about the PhoeniX based NG 9-3, and you see that they also pretend to develop some cousins of that car with a Youngman badge on them. This is not new, on the first MoU between SWAN and YM, there was stated that Saab would develop cars based on Saab Technology for a Youngman brand.

Would this dilute the Saab brand? Yes, and no. Yes because anyone could say that saabs are nothing but Chinese cars on steroids, or that you can get all the Saab tech for a lower price buying the Chinese sibling. But it very much depends on how Youngman markets the different brands, you can have a Jaguar/Tata kind of combination or a Chevy/Cadillac combination, and I think the first one is the more successful one. It will also be quite interesting to see if Volvo also develops Geely branded cars based on the SPA-platform, and how this affects the now re-emerging Volvo brand.

But on the second sentence, when he talks about GM’s nastiness, it really isn’t clear to me if he is talking about the current 9-3, or the NextGen 9-3. I hope this time he talks about the current 9-3, because otherwise any plan from anyone would be worthless.

The second article is from ttela.se and was written on Friday, January 20.

Till now, YM was missing some data, but now they are ready for a concrete bid.
– Youngman has clear ambitions to buy Saab, says Trollhattan Mayor Annika Wennerblom, who is on his way home from a visit to the Chinese company.

Mrs. Wennerblom acts as official representative of the city of Trollhättan, and her statement is quite positive.

The third article is also from ttela.se and has been published today (Saturday, January 21).

– There is no doubt that Youngman has sufficient strength to buy and develop Saab Automobile with sustained production in Trollhättan, says Christer Palm, representing the Swedish and European Organisation for the subcontractors to the Financial Times.

The group, where also representative of the region and other stakeholders were included, visited several of Youngman’s factories in Jinhua and had talks to the owner Pang Qingian and his daughter Rachel Pang, president of Youngman Automotive. They presented a business plan for the visitors, and plans, according to DI, to start a Saab factory in Jinhua

It seems like Youngman impressed all of the represents of the delegation, which makes me stay positive on the outcome of the Saab affair, but later in the day we will hear what the receiver want to say in the press conference, I hope it is no bad thing, but will have to wait till this afternoon.

A small unconfirmed rumour for the end.
The german Saabblogger Tom from Saabblog.net talks about a third interested party, and he is not talking about M&M.

This third party wants to build some of their own cars on Trollhättan and also some Saabs based on a corporate platform.

Who is this third investor?
He says he knows about it, as people from that company have been reading his blog for the last few months, and his personal Djup Strupe confirmed him the existence of this third party.

By now he has only said, that this party is European, and comes from further south than Saab.

My bet is BMW, but it is only a rumour that nobody, besides Tom from Saabblog.net has been able to confirm.

TurboLamko
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I am hoping and hoping for the best 🙂

Fingers crossed, Saab UP

Have a nice weekend everyone 😀

Wim Maes
Member
4 years 8 months ago

+1

Timeshifter
Member
4 years 8 months ago

BMW would be awesome, but I think it is not going to happen.

liftarn
Member
4 years 8 months ago

It’s not as far fetched as it may seem. BMW was interested in buying Saab, but the financial crisis put a stop to that. Perhaps they will go trough with it now.

On the other hand the PhoeniX has a BMW engine so if they want to branch out into FWD cars it might be interesting.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 8 months ago

If BMW were to acquire Saab—-and continue selling the brand—-I could see them position Saab between Mini and BMW, which would be a very smart move. BMW would have a bona-fide full line at that point—-front wheel drives and cars at a variety of price-points—-a nice portfolio. This would really be a long shot—-but a dream scenario for Saab lovers.

nichell
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I hope Youngman wins out as they have been sticking with Saab for so long. I don’t give a damn about BMW(unless they plan on building a Mini with the silhouette of a ’92 Saab 900). As the article says though, GM could be real nasty, and that’s because they’re run by the present US Administration, who are very corrupt. I know I will be shot down immediately for saying this. The views of this commenter do not reflect(or do not necessarily reflect) the views of this site’s owners or fans.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Agreed – my personal preference would be Youngman, I think they’ve earned the chance to try, but as I said below, anyone with genuine intentions will be good! 🙂

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Vagabond: I live a few minutes from Washington, DC. Your comments won’t be shot down by me—-you are right on target!

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Right now, I don’t care who it is – YM, Brightwell or “mystery car company” just so long as someone buys Saab and begines the re-building process!

But, at least now I feel genuine hope! 🙂

Griffin Up!

RS
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I think it makes all the difference in the world who buys the company, especially if we’re back down to one mature model. Selling cars is all that counts. Saab would have already needed the BRIC markets badly since early 2010. If YM can really sell 15-20.000 9-3’s in Asia for a profit it will make all the difference. If anyone else gets SAAB the NG 9-5 production must continue in THN (and the 9-4 in Mexico) or the huge losses won’t go anywhere for years until the 3-4 new GM free models could be launched. And that would probably… Read more »
900 classic cab
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

BMW ? Why should they even bother when they sell huge amounts in every product range ?
Can’t find a reason for that…

Mailr
Member
4 years 8 months ago

In my book, there are only three European manufacturers that has what I would call corporate platforms, and BMW isn’t one of them.

MeanSabean
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I personally believe it’s not BMW but Fiat-Chrysler!

Karl Ask
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I say again, RACHEL UP !! And of course SAAB UP !!!! Hope for the best !!!

Saabissimo
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Wasn’t there some early talk about VW (through Skoda) being interested in the production facilities because they were in need of more capacity? Wouldn’t that go hand in hand with what Tom is writing?

If that’s the mysterious third option then there would be full platform sharing again (if the Saab brand is at all part of this), rather than an independent (or semi-independent) Phoenix. Well, at least VW handle their platform strategies much better than GM…

Mailr
Member
4 years 8 months ago

My thinking as well. Such a deal would make a lot of sense to VW. They also already owns SCANIA, so they are no strangers to SAAB. It will be a different Saab, but it may work well anyway. I really wonder what GM would think of this outcome…

saabserb
Member
4 years 8 months ago

+1. VW it is.

Henric Tungström
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I´ve been hoping for Youngman for quite a while now, I know some of you think they screwed up with the “money on the way” issue, but they had to be careful deailng with GM and in the end, they did the right thing. The only possible outcome is a new Saab with only the 9-3 for now, GM will not let anyone get the 9-5 or 9-4x, nomather what Brightwell thinks. Youngman has already a business-plan for this, Brightwell is still dreaming of a full product-line and that proves that they don´t have a realistic businessplan. The more I… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I agree. I think Youngman has a much better chance at long term viability as the parent to Saab. I love the idea of Mahindra too—but no news on them anymore?

Saabissimo
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Ouch! Fagerhag goes to Volvo. That’s a big loss. (but I don’t blame him… I would have done the same)

http://ttela.se/ekonomi/saab/1.1502448-saabs-tekniske-chef-till-volvo

orion
Member
4 years 8 months ago
There is something mysterious with licenses i suppose. Take for instance the selling of well known design furniture. There are a lot of chairs, for instance Eames, Le Corbusier and so on, who are sold without the sign of the linsence holders, the mark which means it is an original. Selling of these non-marked chairs is possible because with a little change of the design it is possible to sell. So if we look to the car branche and in this particilar case of SAAB, then why is it not possible to change something little to the original, 9-4x and… Read more »
mnztr
Member
4 years 8 months ago

What about FIAT? Their acquisition of Chrysler has gone REALLY well so far, and the platform synergies are potentially excellent….plus they can bring in Alfa into SAAB dealers as well increase the value of dealerships.

wpDiscuz