Press release: Swedish Automobile Signs MoU With Pang Da And Youngman For The Sale Of Saab Automobile And Saab GB

Trollhättan, Sweden: Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) announces that it entered into a memorandum of understanding with Pang Da and Youngman for the sale and purchase of 100% of the shares of Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) and Saab Great Britain Ltd. (Saab GB) for a consideration of EUR 100 million.

Final agreement between the parties is subject to a definitive share purchase agreement between Swan, Pang Da and Youngman, which will contain certain conditions including the approval of the relevant authorities, Swan’s shareholders and certain other parties. The consideration of EUR 100 million will be paid in instalments. An important consideration for Swan to enter into the transaction is the commitment of Pang Da and Youngman to provide long term funding to Saab Automobile.

The administrator in Saab Automobile’s voluntary reorganisation, Mr. Guy Lofalk, has withdrawn his application to exit reorganisation. The MOU is valid until November 15 of this year, provided Saab Automobile stays in reorganisation.

93 thoughts on “Press release: Swedish Automobile Signs MoU With Pang Da And Youngman For The Sale Of Saab Automobile And Saab GB”

    • Apart from the current shareholders actually losing money, and loans to be repaid (Antonov etc), it’s a victory for SAAB. Even if the Chinese plan to produce in China, they have an opportunity to make SAAB just as Geely did with Volvo. For us, SAAB lovers, it probably means at least many years more true Swedish built SAAB’s for us to enjoy

  1. Although I’m happy Saab is about to enter save waters again I feel a bit sorry for VM and the entire team. They have worked so hard over the past two years, it’s too bad they couldn’t do this on their own (with the help of others like VA).

  2. Saab Lives On!!

    Eat that, fat lady!!

    I´m just hoping that Victor will be regarded as a true Saab hero even from now on. Without him none of this would have been possible and we would´ve seen factories wound down in january ´10.

    Saab Up!!

  3. Let sell complete Europe to China!

    Politicians are thinking only about next period – how to get more votes from loosers, who does nothing. Supporting local manufactures is not their jobs, they can only borrow money on a market. the bill are gonna be paid sometime in the future by someone. Stupid…

    • Total agree i will prefer to see SAAB closing its doors as an european and swedish company than being sold to a China company. In a few years all is gong to belong to Chinesse. I dont think i wll huy a SAAB again…sorry

      • So this company you supposedly love, you’ll abandon just because of who owns it? Ink is not even dry on the deal and there are those who are bailing because of Chinese ownership.

        I would have to wait and see for quite a few years and see a ACTUAL decline in quality before i jump ship.

        Everyone blaming China… but look in the mirror people, we’ll all guilty of making them the powerhouse they are. Most people LOVE the cheap things they provide to us and would rather save a buck than insure a fellow countryman has a job.

    • This goes to show how messed up things are in Europe and the USA. It reminds me of the decline of the British Empire and Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, and the rise of the USA as the economic superpower. Europe continued the decline, and now the USA is declining like the British Empire. Soon China could take their place. Too much socialism and regulation destroyed the power of first the European, and then USA economy. A free capitalism is what’s needed in the West to compete, at least that’s my opinion.

      • You couldn’t be more wrong here my friend.

        The reason Saab is being sold to the Chinese has more to do with two other things.

        1.) The reluctance of a right wing government to take more active steps to prevent it from going under, like a more socialist country would.

        2.) The general view in Sweden that car manufacture belongs in a 20th century economy, not in a 21st century one. The economy in Sweden is doing better than most of the western world, and there are many successful businesses in other fields.

  4. Lots of chicken counting going on here. This is the important phrase.
    “Final agreement between the parties is subject to a definitive share purchase agreement between Swan, Pang Da and Youngman, which will contain certain conditions including the approval of the relevant authorities, Swan’s shareholders and certain other parties.”

    So I’m guessing that means that the NRDC, the EIB, GM & the boards of PangDa and Youngman all have to approve? And there is also the question as to if Saab AB will allow the trademark still to be used. When I see the big blue folders being handed over at press conference then I’ll believe it. Until then, this is just a tool to stop the creditors filing for bankruptcy on Monday. There are still plenty of ways for the deal to fall through.
    Only when the money is in the bank & the creditors are paid is Saab saved.

    • True, the chicken hasn’t hatched and there’s still quite a lot of risk in the process, but it is a piece of good news after these last months.

      Let’s sit quietly and wait for the finalized deal, approvals, etc.

  5. Hold your horses people, this is just a MoU, one of many, and still subject to approval by NDRC, likely SweGov, GM, EIB, UN, NATO and whoever else. Lets keep fingers crossed and wait for a proper finalization of the deal.

    • My guess on the approvals;

      NDRC – No problem as Pang Da and Youngman will become owners of the complete company.
      SweGov – No problem as this is according to their whishes.
      GM – This one is very interesting and there might be some very strict technology restrictions coming from them.
      EIB – If they disagree than Pang Da and Youngman can borrow money from another source and clear the EIB loan.

      So my guess is that the major remaining hurdle is to convince GM that the technology is safe with Pang Da and Youngman.guess th

        • NC, that made me laugh too. But I think this really is time to start feeling optimistic!

          Victor Muller is bit by bit showing himself to be a talented and extraordinarily tenacious individual, and if he is handsomely paid for helping get a company that actually *makes things* back on the road then he deserves the credit. No doubt he is going to do well out of the hoped-for deal, one way or another. I am in a mood for thinking that if there were more Victor Mullers out there and fewer Fred Goodwins, capitalism might yet have a chance of working properly and equitably, but don’t quote me.

      • I believe GM were represented in Stockholm. Time will tell.

        As for EIB, I still believe they follow and act upon swegov’s wishes.

        In short: I consider this to be a done deal, but the litmus test is of course the start of the production.

      • VM being on board will secure GM’s position a in this new deal, I think. He can make sure that ‘what happens in Trollhättan, stays in Trollhättan’ 😉 Until there aren’t any IP issues. Fingers crossed.

        I just wonder will the pope give his blessing?

        • I hope Jason Castriota stay on board with the new owners ……. an design true Saab Saabs now for us customers to have great cars in the future

          • As long as the whole Saab crew in TH, and ideology stays the same. If Saab moves to China and production halts in TH, than Saab is no more to me.

            Sorry, but these are my feelings about this. Victor has done a great job saving Saab if every goes thru, but losing NSC with their background hurts too.

            Made in China is not for me 🙁 Saab please stay true to your roots.

        • I hope so. Under VM I was confident Saab would become more and more the unique Saab personality. And the local flavor would not be squashed by a parent company, like GM over Saab, Ford over Jaguar, etc. With Chinese owners, who knows. Hopefully they will trust Saab engineers and management to come up with their own cars, and only provide financial support. If they try to control what kind of Saabs are made, or pinch pennies, they will be making a mistake. A Saab will only sell if it is a true Saab. Also, they might try to make a Saab “more in tune with tastes of the Chinese consumer”. But this is a big mistake, people want to buy a Saab because it is unique and Swedish, not because it is like a local car. Toyota made this mistake with the Scion xB in America. Initially they imported the Japanese version straight from Japan, and it was a huge seller. Then some Toyota genius decided they needed to redesign it to better fit “American” tastes, make it bigger, rounder shape, more “American”. But the new version is a flop, sales have declined drastically. People liked the original because of its Japanese-ness.

  6. I make that 3 “binding” MoUs that YM (at least) have entered-into with SWAN. Statistically, they’re worth about 5m euro each, on average, i.e. really not very much.

    Although we don’t know, the deal may include assumption of the EIB debt; if so, that will remove EIB / NDO from the decision-making process. That, however, leaves GM, SWAN shareholders, and so on, not to mention NDRC who, as far as I know, will need a fresh application to allow this deal to go through.

    Put the champagne on ice, but prepare to wait 3 months to open it, I’m afraid…

    • Would that mean that VM is a morally superior being that has sacrificed his project SWAN to saave Saab?

      Or did you intend another meaning?

    • If the agreement will also take over the debts. 100M euro is much than VM paid for take over SAAB from GM.

      and i think it must covered the debts. otherwise VM will say NO.

      • I think no one in his/her right mind expects VM to leave this whole affair seriously burned (financially speaking, that is). I’m sure SAAB’s debts towards SWAN, assuming all of the money was channelled through SWAN, will be addressed in the deal.

        All of this, of course, after the deal is finalized, signed, and with the “money in the bank” part covered. 😉

  7. Stay calm…

    The press release says: The consideration of EUR 100 million will be paid in instalments.


    “The MOU is valid until November 15 of this year, provided Saab Automobile stays in reorganisation.”

    Al lot of thinks can happen tioll then…

  8. If Pang Da And Youngman knows the value of the brand and the cars, they will bring SAAB back on the road.
    Let’s start the production in Trollhättan, Please. AND, promote that the dark side of time is over and that SAAB is producing and selling cars.
    I’m happy. I’m happy about every solution and owner, execpt GM!!! It can only get better.

    Tnx to VM (i hope, he’ll be the looser of the deal), Pang Da And Youngman

  9. Victor gave it up finally… After all the things happened to him recently… He’s a hero of a man, not stopped immediately but stood there, continuing negotiations and squeeze out the best deal possible.

    While I’m happy Saab seems saved, it’s a bit of a bittersweet that it became another Chinese company and I’m not that easy about the future.

  10. I’m torn on this.

    While I wanted Saab to survive, majority Chinese ownership, let alone 100% ownership is the worst possible of the outcomes in which the brand survives.

    I’ve probably bought my last Saab.

    I do not trust any product in which Chinese firms have any say what so ever in the design and manufacturing decisions, and when they hold the purse strings, – like they clearly do when they own the company – they make the financial decisions, and as such it doesn’t matter where design and manufacturing is located.

    it’s one thing for a cheap molded pen, or something like that. if it stops working, I just throw it away and buy another.

    With a car, I am betting my life and the life of my family on the fact that the Chinese owners will make good, ethical decisions in the design and manufacturing process. I have absolutely 0% faith in any Chinese company to do this.

    Today is not victory. It is crushing defeat.

      • The wait-and-see isn’t anymore about “will Saab survive?”, but now it’s about “will Saab remain truly Saab?”.
        I hope it’s a wrong comparison, but I’d never buy a Lenovo Thinkpad to replace my IBM Thinkpad.

        • I feel the same way about Lenovo, and my life doesn’t even depend on a laptop functioning correctly, like it can on a car.

          With this announcement Saab – too me – is dead. It might as well have been shut down by GM. I don’t care anymore.

          I’m not going to hang around and follow some Zombie Saab under Chinese ownership.

          • I actually bought a Lenovo Thinkpad. It served me well, but I wouldn’t buy another one. I’ve then switched to HP Elitebooks, and now I’ve just got a HP Z800 and a tablet.

        • Last time I saw someone comment on Lenovo, it was to say that the company he worked for had switched to Dell. The reason? The Lenovo (true to its ThinkPad tradition) laptops lasted for many, many years. In today’s world, that longevity is not called for in a product that is so rapidly outdated. They did not see the point in paying extra for longevity.

          As for cars, I am tempted to mention ‘Ford Explorer’ (IIRC). In the 90s and 00s, many companies were producing cars noticably less safe than Saabs. Standardized NCAP tests helped, but still many of them make sure they pass the current test rather than be as safe as possible. You know which category Saab belongs to. Now which brand will you contemplate switching to?

          It will be difficult to drastically change their current product lineup, so we are safe for the time being. In case we hear of any shortcuts being taken, we will make sure to report so here on SU.

          As one Saab employee told me recently: All my family drives Saab. We have our own interests at heart when we design the car to be as safe as possible.

          • Actually the Ford Explorer did pretty darn well in the real world even though it had its bad reputation problems from the Ford/Firestone partnership. I handled a rollover death case against Ford/Firestone and I was always concerned (in a good way from a safety point of view but in a bad way for my case) that Ford would be able to convince a jury that the Explorer was not an unreasonably dangerous vehicle.

            It did have a roof crush problem but so did most vehicles at the time.

          • Yeah, but that is the clincher. I am pretty sure the Saabs at the time did not have a roof crush problem.

            In fact, you can go back to some of the earliest Saabs, and they did not have this problem. Remember Erik Carlson’s nickname..? When Ovlov started competing, they had to fit rollcages into their cars. Saabs back then did not have to fit an extra rollcage for rallies.

            I’m confident we would quickly learn of any safety issues in case the new owners start cutting corners.

    • .
      Not sure, how I feel about total Chinese ownership of ‘another’ great western company, but better a Saab, than NO Saab atall.
      That’s not saying I’ll buy a new one…..time will tell.

      • The Chinese did buy Volvo, did buy Delveaux luxury leather etc etc and if you have money nowadays you can do a lot.
        As long as they keep the identity of the business they acquire intact, which they did so far with Volvo and Delveaux, it is good for everyone who loves and appreciates Saab.
        For the dealers, the Saab employees and even for Swan this must become finally a good deal.
        Hope it at least.

        • I’m not familiar with Delveaux, but I will say this:

          When Volvo was bought by Geely, it instantly went from my “backup brand if Saab doesn’t make it” to a brand I would never, ever consider buying.

    • I disagree. If and when R&D stays in Sweden Saabs can only ever build the safest cars in the world which is proven by the testing authorities. The Chinese cannot cut corners in this regard or the customer would jump ship immediately.
      What comes to overall quality and the infamous ‘parts bin’ wasn’t GM the worst owner Saab could ever have. I’m sure PD and Y won’t do the same mistake as they’re obviously in it to build premium cars that can compete against the German ones in every way.
      Correct me if I’ve misunderstood.

      I will let their actions as owners speak for themselves.

      • I think the Chinese parts bin is awful. Almost every one I know in the US, regardless of trade, complains about the quality of Chinese parts. I am sure the Chinese are capable of making high quality items, but probably because they have contracts as the lowest bidder, they cut huge corners in production; and all we get is junk. My home air conditioner repairman is typical of the complaints I hear all the time. He told me that he is constantly replacing some type of starter which is now made exclusively in China about once every year on units when he used to replace them once every fifteen years on the average unit and a made in China part is all he can get. Being a stand up guy, he hates having to do this to his customers. Our tools are Chinese junk. Buy a drill and it lasts a couple of years when drills used to last fifteen. And you can’t find anything else if you can afford to pay double and are willing to pay the extra.

        “Made in China” is synonymous with junk here in the US. Everyone in the US complains about things made in China. We resent the fact that our corporations went to China to make stuff there in the first place taking away good manufacturing jobs; and, we resent that we have to buy this junk (because that is all that is available in most stores) anytime we have to replace something that used to be good quality stuff made in the US or made in Europe or Japan ( although the first Japanese stuff was junk too). Lots of stores here are trying to get US made stuff to sell, because that is what customers want now, but the stores can’t find any US made stuff.

        What I don’t get about the Chinese is this. Why don’t they make their own stuff and sell it over here? Europe and Japan always tried to sell their own stuff with obvious European names and Japanese names. Even Korea tries to sell us its own stuff. But China has taken a different path and has produced goods for companies that sell cheap Walmart grade stuff and as a result Chinese stuff just has a very bad reputation. I can’t name a single Chinese brand, yet my house is loaded with Chinese stuff that I have no alternative but to buy under some US company’s name, like Craftsman or Harmon Kardon.

        Saab’s brand name in the US has really taken a big hit since GM announced Saab was for sale. Add a made in China sticker to a Saab, or even a made in China sticker to a significant number of parts, and Saab’s reputation as a brand will fall even further. The future Saabs will have to be extraordinarily well made to have any chance in the US if they have any Chinese attachment to them.

        • I don’t think there is anyything wrong with Chinese parts.
          What’s wrong with a lot of products labelled “Made in China” is that they are the lowest bidder for the job.
          Those responsible for their succes are the consumers who wants cheap products, and those cooperations that wants to have the cheapest parts possible in their products to be able to deliver either cheaply or earn extra.

          What most people forget is that a lot of products labelled “Made in XXXX” are actually manufactured in China to a very large degree, but labelled differently, because “made in” and “Country Of Origin” are extremely flexible labels.

          A lot of very high quality products comes out of China, both branded “Made in China” and not branded, but finished in and exported from other countries.

          BTW..I keep hearing that Volvo is doing very well in NA despite Chinese ownership.

        • Funny how things change. Ming vases and Chinese porcelain plates are considered to be works of art and of great value (both break easily though).

          You get what you pay for. Saab has had very good QA the past couple of years. You can get shoddy quality in Europe as well (including Germany). Country of origin is not a guarantee for anything.

          Last year in Sweden, there were reports of gas-pedals in Audis snapping off due to cold temperatures in the winter. I do not know where those pedals were assembled, but the car itself is clearly a German product.

        • David, my point was that to me it doesn’t matter where the part is manufactured but how. The same robot will make the same product regardless where in the world it’s placed nowadays.
          When Opel (GM Europe) screwed up big time in the late 90’s they were pressuring suppliers to make the parts as cheap as possible which later lead to all kind of trouble. Also affecting Saab’s reputation heavily until this day.
          BMW for instance has over hundred suppliers in China, it would be amazing if now of those parts would end up the European or NA assembled cars.
          If someone wants nicer interior I’m sure it’s more about how the plastic is colored and molded than where the press locates.
          All I ever have to replace seem to be parts made by Bosch, which is a German company but operates in 60 different countries. Is today a French assembles Bosch altenator better than a Chinese one? I seriously doubt it.

          Who owns the shares of Saab Automobile AB makes no difference. A 100% GM owned Saab Automobile produced the most non-Saab vehicles in the company’s history.
          GM standard (cheap) parts and lack of funding for new models was what put Saab in trouble in the first place. IMO GM only bought Saab to get hold of some tech and maybe buy a competitor off the market.
          The Chinese are actually interested in selling Saabs. Huge difference.

          • My point is that because China has a reputation for being the lowest bidder and making shoddy products, any connection with Saab to China will be far more negative than positive. I am absolutely certain the Chinese have the ability to make excellent products, but that is not China’s reputation. It has a reputation for making junk unless its ceramics or art (which of course are highly prized and have been for centuries).

            China also has the reputation of having taken many good jobs from the US and people are pissed. That is partly what the Occupy Wall Street movement is about. There is a huge backlash here against companies who have moved production to other countries especially to Asian ones and Mexico. Those who understand this game understand Wall Street was behind the American companies’ need to generate profits for stock prices.

            Chinese products, other than ceramics and art, are bought here for two reasons: they have a complete monopoly on the market because an American made good no longer exists to compete with the Chinese product and they are usually cheaper than anything else.

            I really don’t know how well Volvo is doing here in the US. It is not stellar. And I think those of you who are touting China’s purchase of Volvo will change your minds sometime in the future. I think when Saab and Volvo were purchased by US companies, for awhile the new owners were heralded as saviors. That changed over time. And the Americans never had any designs on bringing production to the US (they might have done better if they had because both German and Japanese auto manufacturers whose products produced here are doing well and accepted as German or Japanese).

            But unlike GM and Ford, I am sure China wants production. And once they get control of production they tend to eliminate production elsewhere due to their cheap pricing.

          • GM didn’t need Saab tech. I have never thought anything about Saab’s technology was exceptional other than its safety and snow handling characteristics. Car magazines have been pointing this out for decades. The 1999 9-5 was the first Saab to have independent rear suspension for Christ sakes. In high school, had a 1965 Corvair with a rear engine, made by GM, that had independent rear suspension. Cornered fantastically. And most of the US never gets snow so the ability to handle snow is not necessary most places.

            It was never that GM didn’t have the technology. Technologically speaking, I will put a Corvette up against just about any car in the world. GM just doesn’t put it’s technology in its cars except on rare occasions and the reason has always been that the MBA bean counters never let the engineers do their thing. The engineers almost always got vetoed by the bean counters.

          • Sorry David. Should have said engineering instead of tech but to me it’s pretty much the same.
            If GM was technologically so advanced why have they got their butts kicked by the Germans and why was THN so important to them as a research center?
            Maybe they actually learned a thing or two from the Swedes during their tenure? American cars weren’t exactly the synonym for safety, low consumption or handling in the past were they. That’s why you guys got into better -European made- vehicles.

            As for foreign trade, I don’t think you should blame the Chinese for failures in US trade and monetary policies. Shouldn’t it be the US Govt’s job to make sure it is possible for its manufacturing business to succeed, not just borrow money from abroad?
            To be honest I think the guys Occupying Wall street have the wrong address. They should be knocking on the doors of Capitol Hill instead. That’s where the failed decisions have and are being made. First thing they should so is to abolish the freaking (too big to fail) paper swapping bank cartel and take it from there.

            I don’t know if it’s of any consolation to you but the clowns in Europe are doing exactly the same mistakes. As we speak EU is desperately trying to get hugely indebted to the Chinese government like there’s no tomorrow. So now they’re basically trying to sell not only factories but the whole Continent as well?

            It will be interesting to see how all this will be explained to future generations.

            PS. I too want a 9-5 SC, but YP only premium parts please!

          • RS: You are confusing engineering choices with engineering technology. GM made huge mistakes in engineering choices but GM had the technology. The poor engineering choices were forced upon the engineers and designers by MBA ditto heads who got control of the company, which unfortunately has been the norm of American companies of all kinds for the last thirty or forty years. Wall Street stock prices of the company dictated what the MBA’s forced the rest of the company to do and most American companies. It was all about appeasing the great gods of Wall Street.

            So the engineers and designers were forced to use out dated engineering and cost cut on parts. But GM surely had the engineers and the technology as did most American companies. We were the ones who put a man on the moon, remember. Roll-over bars are not high tech nor are strong A pillars. They are a choice a manufacturer makes or does not make. What makes Saab a very good car in my opinion is that its engineers have generally been given a green light to make the right choices (regarding safety in particular) where American engineers have not.

            And American consumers eventually tired of the crap these MBA led American companies produced and turned elsewhere for their products. Rather than admit their mistakes, the MBA led companies just made matters worse with their new solution of cutting costs — producing parts and products outside the country.

        • I believe the Apple iPhone and laptops are made in China, and these are very high quality. True, this is insisted on by the management of Apple, an American company. So… who knows.

          • The fact that high-quality produce can be made anywhere, including China, notwithstanding, Apple products are anything but high-quality. They are shiney, but relatively unreliable and fidgety, and relatively cheap.

            The Chinese do not make low-quality produce because they like it, but because they are expected to by their customers, who demand low price. Even with low wages you can’t really make a high-quality device at low cost, and skilled labour doesn’t come cheap anywhere. This is why outsourcing production to China just for cost’s sake stopped making sense sometime ago.

            The Chinese actually appreciate quality and the backlash against Chinese-made goods, especially automobiles, becuase of the low quality perception is the same, if not greater, in China itself.

  11. anybody knows if the deal includes SAAB Parts and SAAB Cars North America? If I am right these two subsidiaries were not parts of reorganization and not under court protection. Are they being sold as well, or SWAN kept those for themselves?

  12. I don’t think GM will have an issue with this. After all, they sold Hummer to the Chinese.

    Long live Saab.

    Thank you VM for the superhuman effort. NULLA TENACI INVIA EST VIA

  13. Thanks Victor for all the efforts. Hope you get better from this deal… but I doubt it

    Sad it will be chinese, but better chinese than no saab.

    And now, please start producing, I want a 9-5 sportkombi !!!!

    thanks again

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.