Sobering Chinese News Snippets

Both recommended reads and both show just how complicated getting past the NDRC is going to be for Saab in China. The first is an analysis from Reuters, and while it cites many skeptical sources, it ends by landing on the hope that BAIC might be the company given the NDRC’s official blessing.

The second comes from Caixin Online (and brought to us through CBS MarketWatch) which spells out a little more clearly and backs up SvD’s claims that Youngman might be the chosen one. I’m not going to comment much on them but to say that Saab clearly has a lot of work to do to get their Chinese joint operation with Pang Da up and running, and I’m confident that the executive teams of both Spyker and Pang Da know what they need to do to get there.

16 thoughts on “Sobering Chinese News Snippets”

  1. It is not an easy lecture, but for me CBS and Reuters are reading tea leaves once again.
    Reuters is just saying that the Chinese government won’t allow to build Saabs in China because they want to consolidate their own car industry (doesn’t make sense to me).
    The one from Caixin is even worse, but maybe only to me, because I don’t believe that the Toyota/VW way is the only feasible.

  2. I am thinking you are reading more negativity into it than there is. The issue is simple – NRDC will quietly and gently prod the automakers, Saab and Pang Da to get together. Probably we will see BAIC ending up getting financially involved in Saab for fear of losing competitive edge, and taking on Hawtai to secure the diesel engines and marry both automaker’s premium ambitions under the Saab brand. I do believe VM will play a role here to broker the whole deal.

    Mr. Pang is very right in saying that the 9-5 seems tailor-made for the Chinese market. In the future, I could see the 9-5 being built in China, 9-4X in North America and the 9-3 series in Sweden. And hopefully the 9-2 @ Valmet 🙂

    • The only thing that gives me hope is that Saab isn’t trying to be a volume player, just staying niche. But when Mr. Pang or anyone else says that they hope to produce “100,000, 200,000, or 300,000” cars it makes me wonder if the NDRC is on board yet. The other question I’ve got is whether or not Spyker is really allowed to have that magical 50% figure. From what we’ve read in some reports, China wants the Chinese companies to own a higher percentage than the foreign players, whether this is accurate or not I don’t know. It certainly makes sense since Shanghai GM is now owned 51% by SAIC who just aquired another 1% from GM (who now holds 49%). Interesting.

      • My understanding is that both Chinese companies would take considerable stakes in Saab, so all in all there will probably be a JV between Saab and a Chinese company / a few Chinese companies in China with who-knows-what Saab share, but the Chinese companies would also have an interest in Saab.

        The cool thing is that while Volvo had to be completely swallowed by Geely, it might turn out Saab remains both captive (i.e. partially owned by the Chinese) and independent (no entity holding majority stake). That would be quite a feat for VM.

        • the JV could only be with SAAB and another Chinese Player (these must be an manufacturer)

          Pang Da has a 30% stake in SAAB and can so directly control the JV.

          • Not really, the planned Subaru JV (before Toyota took over and Chery stepped in) was 50% Fuji, 25% Pang Da, 25% BAIC.

            Pang Da does not have any stake in Saab yet and it is not yet sure what share they will end up owning (I do agree it is more or less a foregone conclusion they will eventually buy into Saab).

          • It´s planned to go in with 30% as you can read in the press release.

            If it´s possible with two chinese players it´s better – but there had been some regulations on that (only one chinese player)

  3. Hey, CBS and Reuters, save the drama for your mama. After what the Saab community has been through over the past couple of years you’re gonna have to do better than that to rattle us. How about growing a pair and do some real reporting…and that goes for the rest of the cry baby media supposedly “reporting” about Saab.

    • Yes and where are the news. Nothing new to say – already things we know and it´s silly to talk about the same things every two days.
      They even started the approval process , haven´t selected a manufacturer yet. SAAB and Pang Da stated that the process will take about two months.

      And the hummer deal failed because the chinese government wanted no gas bruzzeling old technology (they look at environmentfriendly tech ideal for SAAB).
      I don´t know why those analysts get paid for these reports.

  4. It is bizarre that the Chinese government thinks they are responsible to make these private decisions and arrange Saab’s future. But whatever.

  5. Jim, you mean like how the US govt decided on GM and Chycos fate and arranged a shotgun wedding with FIAT? Govts often intervene. Pang Da and SAAB have always said manufacturing will come under a joint venture. So I think BAIC will have the inside track there.

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