Press Release: Agreement with Hawtai terminated

Spyker and Hawtai Motor Group continue discussions about funding and strategic partnership yet earlier agreement terminated

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 12 May 2011 – Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) announces today that Hawtai Motor Group Company Limited (Hawtai) and Spyker terminated the agreement by and between Hawtai, Spyker and Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) with respect to funding and strategic partnership. However, discussions are ongoing.

As a result of this termination, Saab Automobile may enter into a strategic partnership with Hawtai or another Chinese party on manufacturing, technology and distribution in China. As indicated in the press release of 3 May 2011, the transaction with Hawtai was subject to definitive transaction documentation and certain conditions, which included the consent of different stakeholders. Since it became clear that Hawtai was not able to obtain all the necessary consents, the parties were forced to terminate the agreement with Saab Automobile and Spyker with immediate effect. The parties will continue their discussions about a possible cooperation, however now on a non-exclusive basis.

Spyker and Saab Automobile continue to work on securing short and medium term funding. To that end Spyker and Saab Automobile are negotiating equity and debt financing and/or technology licensing with various (strategic) Chinese partners.

BAIC indicated that it does not have any problems with Saab’s ongoing discussions with other Chinese partners.

Discussions continue with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on completion of the current EUR 29 million drawdown under the EIB loan facility, on obtaining EIB consent for the sale of Saab property released under the collateral of the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) and on various conditions proposed by the EIB. As soon as the EIB drawdown or other equivalent funding is confirmed, Saab Automobile plans to restart production depending on the outcome of discussions with its suppliers on terms to resume supplies of materials and services to Saab Automobile.

It looks like Saab will be relying on the EIB once again to be able to restart production in THN. At least the production of customer 9-4x’s has already started in Ramos Arizpe.

47 thoughts on “Press Release: Agreement with Hawtai terminated”

  1. Of course it’s bad and the negativists will have a field day, but I think this is quite a natural result of speedy negotiations. In a less rushed scenario, this is the sort of renegotiation that would have happed before anything was made public. The fact that is was made public means that they also have to take a very public step back, which is unfortunate.

  2. I can’t say that I’m sorry that this deal has been terminated. It felt like a desperate deal. I’m looking forward to Antonov and what he can do for Saab.

    It’s better for Saab to search for another better suited company to share their Phoenix platform with.

    Hopefully I can get my 9-5 SportCombi after summer anyway πŸ™‚

    Saab UP!

  3. Once again I’m not the least bit worried about the future of the company, but am worried that Saab has been set back a lot longer than one would like.

  4. What a shambles! The Chinese do this every single time. Can’t believe that VM did not see this coming. Hope they have another plan to quickly deploy – the press is going to be bad!

  5. This news is catastrophic! Not only regarding the funding and the possible partnership, but mostly from the public image perspective. SAAB now don’t have any deal, have to start negotiations again with pissed off Chinese companies. The price has probably gone down, since SAAB is now even more desperate to get fresh money. The car buyers will get even more scared and start running away. DI and similar publications will start up their news mills will new anti-SAAB campaign.

    Sorry for telling this blasphemy on this forum: Maybe the game has become too complicated for VM! Maybe his poker game style is good for a small manufacturer like Spyker, but SAAB is another type of beast and requires another game! A game that requires few players on SAAB’s side of the table beside Victor. A game where small errors are not tolerated, not to mention the big ones like SAAB and Victor mostly have done.A game that takes time and where patience is the best weapon (of course SAAB didn’t have that much time to exercise patience, but now it have less time then before).

    Before you start commenting this you must know that I love the guy, I am thankful that he saved SAAB last year. My son that was born last year got his name! But now I am thinking only on SAAB.

    I think that now the best possible scenario is the Volvo scenario, where a Chinese manufacturer buys the majority of shares (the other part will probably remain under Vladimir’s control). VM will then get well deserved money to enjoy the rest of his life, or even start another interesting project, in which case I will follow it with interest.

    • I must say I have had similar feelings but hesitated to voice them. It is a real pity that there is only so much JAJ and that much VM/VA in the whole thing.

      I am very frustrated at the moment, there is little but hope left in view of all that we have learned. And my hope is now for somebody totally uninvolved until now to appear on a white stallion and take Saab into the sea of stability. Or even make that Hawtai or BAIC.

  6. The press is always bad, and will do everything to make a big headline out of everything that happens, simply because it sells.
    However I do not know what to make of VA’s latest Tweet. Appearantly he’s quite frustrated about someone leaking something to the media. The termination of the preliminary deal with Hawtai however was in an official press release from Spyker.

      • What did VA tweet? I cannot get the link to work on my mobile.
        This is quite unfortunate altogether – hopefully good comes out of this.

        • About an hour ago he tweeted “I just want to ask irresponsible people WHY you leaking to the media a real false???”

        • Het tweeted:

          I just want to ask irresponsible people WHY you leaking to the media a real false???

          I’m guessing here, but the Dutch news article was referring to the initial article in Svenska Dagebladet, saying that the deal was ended after chinese executives visited the plant, and because it was desolate at the time. I think this reasoning might be untrue, and a result of sensationalist speculation by an irresponsible journalist, which is what pissed VA off. We learned from Saabsunited that the factory was recalibrating and doing test runs on the day the chinese visited, and all staff were in.

  7. Oh, well – even this is very serious for SAAB and food for the cannibals in the Presscorps, we have been in this situation ‘many times’ before. My thoughts though go to all the SAAB employees and their families depending on our beloved carmaker’s survival. We stand behind you!

    Even if our belief should start to crackle (off course it won’t!), we should continue to KEEP CALM & CARRY ON!

    VM, VA, JAJ and SAAB up!

    Cheers from Norway
    Always on the longest road home when out there with my SAAB. Always!

  8. I really hope something better comes out of this. When things will calm down, some real marketing is necessary put SAAB again on track. Are there still SAAB ambassadors ? What have they been doing to boost the sales ?

  9. Sadly, SAAB is losing its identity and its image. That’s not good !

    “SAAB”, what has gone wrong with you?; “SAAB”: No money, No honey ! ;

    SWEDISH PEOPLE, common guys, please do what ever it takes to help “SAAB” to survive.

    “SAAB FANS” all over the world, please organize an annual campaign to “SAVE OUR SAAB” (SOS)..

  10. -Just speculation-

    Somehow I get a creeping suspicion that yet another government institution is tha cause of this sudden change.
    Namely the NDRC.
    I don’t think they like quick undocumented affairs

    -Just speculation end-

    I still believe that the Hawtai deal will be done.
    But I am also an endless optimist.

  11. Oh shit. I was hoping for some news on the production start today and then this came. But we been here before many times now and I’m sure there are more rabbits in VM/VA’s hats..

  12. Get rid of Victor now, he talks to much and isn’t trustworthy by the media.

    Best solution right now is if a well established western company buys Saab and buys out Victor and replaces him with a CEO that knows the business.

    A dream owner right now would be BMW.

    Saab UP!

    • Well…there’s always GM.. πŸ™‚

      I don’t think that any of us are in a position to pass judgement on the man who brought Saab back to life.

      • Come on, show some respect. There would not be a SAAB today if it weren’t for Victor, and JAJ is not gone, he was together with Victor in China negotiating whatever deals were negotiated there.

        • Victor did save Saab, that was a big achievement but it hasn’t exactly worked out the way we all hoped.

          Now it’s a new time to save Saab and this time Saab needs stability and I’m sorry Victor can’t give Saab the stability it needs.

          • You are missing the point.
            If Victor can’t give Saab stability it is because noone can or are willing to

            Things do not always work out like we hope

          • Coke,
            I don’t know if you noticed but it is Victor or nothing. There is no company waiting for take over.
            Saab needs Victor and Mr Antonov, and both of them will fight for Saab as long as they have some hope. If they loose their hope for Saab, Saab will be history.

          • I wouldn’t say there is no company waiting to take over. I am sure BAIC and the rest would be willing to consider Saab if they could get it on the cheap and with little to no strings attached.

            But for that to happen Saab as we know it would probably have to collapse, and as such this is undesirable. So VM needs to convince the suitors it’s better to go with him than to wait for the remains to be up for grabs.

          • Bravada,
            I think we both know that many would buy some parts of Saab after the collapse of the brand, but not that many (none) would buy Saab in order to rescue the brand.

    • Why BMW, and what incentives should BMW have to buy SAAB? I just can’t see what SAAB could bring to the BMW table. BMW wouldn’t get any technically or economically (or nothing at all) benefits to add to their own portfolio if they aquired SAAB.

      No, Victor Muller is the dedication SAAB needs, and him paired with a guy llike Vladimir Antonov would most likely be the perfect couple. SAAB needs enthusiasts, and not only among it’s customers. VM won’t give up this deal as long as he can stand upright, ref also his motto.

      SAAB up!

        • BMW would gain nothing from such a deal, except for a huge headache. They don’t need Saab’s miniscule market share; in fact, they might benefit from Saab leaving the picture. And they certainly don’t need any platforms from Saab because all the ones currently in production are GM based.

          BMW would only look to Saab as a potential vendor, not as the target for a rescue mission. πŸ™

          • So, BMW has not benefited anything from adding Mini to their portfolio? I don’t think BMW and Mini share any platform (yet), they make a profit by getting a greater market share. The market share for Saab would of course get bigger by time since potential buyers of cars would know about the connection and hopefully not cannibalize on BMW’s market share but instead move buyers into Saabs instead of Audis and so on.

  13. omfg.
    i was almost convinced, the stormiest wether was over, when hawtai came in….still not time to loose all hope!!
    keep calm and buy saabs!!

  14. Well this is my first time as a blogger on this site. I LOVE the Saab brand but I’m afraid some home truths have to be told. This situation is exactly the same as what happened at MG ROVER. Again, like GM, BMW were desperate to get rid of it’s loss making arm(MG ROVER), so they sold it to the phoenix corporation. They were supposed to save MG with the aid of government money. Money did pour in but the directors wasted and spend it on themselves, not on new models.

    I’m not saying VM is the same as the phoenix Corp, I think he is probably an enthusiast for the brand. But I do think that the company is slowly dying a horrible death. And whose there in the end, the chinease picking over the scraps for all the good bits, where as workers families struggle to find work. GM bought Saab as a loss making firm, so there investment into the company was pitiful. They didn’t want Saab to be there prestige brand so they bled it’s resources dry. Also the Swedish government seams to want to kill Saab, just like the British government. Doesn’t want to get involved and it doesn’t care. The EIB are also slow in providing funds, the stupid situation with VA etc.

    Saab the brand will suffer and suffer for a long time unless this situation is resolved. You also have to blame Saab themselves. The designs over the years have been dated, thanks to GM, and there pricing is way to high. With the new 9-5, it’s way overpriced. When a customer has a choice of buying an Audi or a Saab, he will go for the Audi, just because of residual values. The new 9-5 should be priced at least 10-15% below its retail vale now, and the engines should be a lot greener.

    The death of Saab should have occured before GM. I do love them like I say, but I do fear the worse. My dog died this week, so this news will be just as sad if Saab dies. RIP WISKEY.

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