To start everyone’s Monday off, I gathered the stories that are kicking of our week of Saab news.
Getting the bad press off our chests first, ChinaCarTimes.com has an article up about why they think the Saab-Hawtai deal is going to fail. For every point they raise, I have a response that pretty well shoots it down. When they project out that Spyker is going to continue bleeding money at last year’s rates, they ignore the progress they’ve made and how much further along they are on their way towards getting to the break even point. Never once do they mention Antonov. And their pessimism about China approving the deal doesn’t take into account the ties between Hawtai and Bank of Beijing, let alone their new factory in Ordos. They do have a pretty good summary of the background though, including the names of the players at Hawtai and the tangled web that exists between GM, BAIC, and SAIC. I’ve been working on an in depth analysis piece about Hawtai over the weekend and I’ll have it up sometime midweek that helps everyone understand the bigger issues and why I’m much more optimistic about a deal (hint: one of the answers to Saab’s issues is in Mongolia).
Also in China, spotted outside a Westin hotel you can see a 9-5 next to it’s possible distant cousin, a Hawtai B35 (Hyundai Santa Fe with a Cayenne face). Other outlets are saying it’s a dealer– it’s not, it’s a hotel.
Finally as we speak, the media is test driving a fleet of 9-4Xs around the suburbs of Washington, D.C. as part of the second leg of its reviews. They should have some great weather so expect a slew of great reviews in the next few weeks. That coincides very well with deliveries of the 9-4X, which should be showing up in dealers in mid to late June– only five or six weeks away!