Thursday Snippets: Geely Wants Saab Now?

Geely Wants to Acquire Saab?

This story has been coming at us for the past 24 hours now and while I’ve been reluctant to cover it since everyone in front of and behind the scenes is denying it, but Dagens Nyheter is reporting on their website that Geely wants to buy Saab. According to their source, a representative from Geely approached Guy Lofalk, the court appointed administrator for Saab, to negotiate a deal. Today, Geely has emphatically denied these rumors.

Interestingly, Eric Geers fanned the flames a little bit though when he said in a telephone interview which Bloomberg reported on, ““Several companies are showing interest in Saab right now…We of course have a binding agreement with Pangda and Youngman.” Why would he want to do that?  Well, Youngman’s money still hasn’t been transferred even though it was promised to come through over a week ago. Which leads us to the second story…

Youngman’s Sluggish Behavior

Youngman’s had agreed to send Saab 70 million Euro by  in mid-September as was part of a license agreement with Chinese car firm Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile.

“The money has not come in yet. We originally thought it would take about two weeks. The process is ongoing, and we will give information as soon as we have the money,” Saab spokesman Eric Geers told Reuters. “It is hard to say exactly when this process will be finished. But it will be soon,” he added. What should we take from that? Just as he always says: the money will arrive soon. Reports of another story are stressing Saab out a little more.

We all know that the NDRC is the crucial unknown piece of the puzzle that Saab, Youngman and Pang Da need to gain approval for the deal to go through. But they also need approval from the Swedish NDO and government, and that approval depends on information that Youngman is slow to report. Since they’re privately owned, they don’t need to disclose this information like Pang Da does (which has readily given it).

In a story from, Anna Petre explains that they are working through this issue and hope it won’t become a problem. “It is slow, especially for family-owned Youngman who are not accustomed to disclose sensitive information about economic figures such as sales and profits,” says Anna Petre, director of community relations at Saab, to Di. “I asked to get a revised financial statements from them. And they asked what it meant that it would be revised. They work with other terms and in any other way than we do,” she added.

Again, I don’t think we should be too worried about either of these issues, just that this is what is going on behind the scenes yet reported publicly. There’s also a healthy amount is going on that we can’t really report on that gives us enough confidence not to report on this story as breaking news.

44 thoughts on “Thursday Snippets: Geely Wants Saab Now?”

    • LOL !!

      Good joke!!!

      A company using ENV as the name for their next engine generation and SPA for their new platform has no blood.

    • Im just amazed that SAAB is so interesting for a Volvo guy that hates SAAB!! I would never step my foot on a Volvo site and even less sit in a Volvo!!

      • It took Ovlov what, 50 years to copy Saab’s superior technology? Until then, most Ovlov enthusiasts were adamant that _rear_ wheel drive was the way to go, even in winter. Right…

        And recently Ovlov have also embraced the four cylinder turbo engine.

        Too bad their vehicles have an external design you’d have to be an undertaker to fully appreciate. And some of their vehicles, the V50 springs to mind), are strangely unsuitable for driving in the winter (unless you enjoy a car that feels nervous on icy tracks and can’t move forward in the slush).

        They do have good marketing though. Have to give them that.

        • Our V70 D5 aut is safe to drive and OK with a caravan behind. I’s nice too (year 2005) and big inside, but it is not so fun to drive as my 2002 9-3 SE aut. 🙂

      • Volvo has made some good cars and some not so good. And Volvo is a good reference for Saab. And vice versa. And they both are producing the safest cars you can buy. The current Volvo line is nothing for me, but they have made some nice cars over the years.

        This summer both our cars ended up with generator problems and we had to fall back to our old cars; a 1969 Saab 95 V4 and a 1970 Volvo 164 (leather, autobox, roofhatch). Both are nice cars to use as daily transporters. Albeit noisy. 🙂

        Let’s not fall into the sour Volvo vs Saab debate that Volvo man tries to start.

  1. There’s much speculation here about both Geely and Youngman. But I think this is potentially good news. The DN article makes clear that Geely wants to maintain Saab as a distinct brand. Combined with the Pang Da distribution agreement there could be a great Saab resurgence, I think. Geely seems to have done very good work with Volvo, increasing its profitability while maintaining its Swedishness. Of course Saab and Saab enthusiasts would hope that Saab’s design and engineers are maintained separately from Volvo’s (certainly I would hope so), but there could also be various cost-saving measures across the board that benefit both marques.

  2. Hey, guys there. Listen, I´ve come up with this wonderful bright idea:

    why not get rid of all borders, races, brands and become a world wide nation?

    Peace, brothers and sister, and out 😉

  3. I think there is no truth to this.

    But if there was, I think it could be a really great combo. I imagine that with Geely’s desire to take Volvo upmarket, Saab would probably fit into a VW type of role, a bit upmarket from brands like Toyota but not full out luxury. The downside is that Volvo and Saab could become almost carbon copies of each other with different trims, much like Toyota/Lexus, Acura/Honda or VW/ Audi. Who knows though. it’s all speculation.

  4. @Volvo Man
    As a Volvo fanatic i will ask you what is so bad if Geely will get partowner of SAAB to?
    And sorry i have owned a lot Volvos like 740, 960 and the most beautyfully a 780 Bertone.
    Today i own a few SAAB’s and a Volvo V90.
    I like to buy a NG 9-5 SW…. There is no new Volvo i like… They have lost there DNA just look at
    that ugly new V 60, this is just shit!

  5. I think we all know deep down that the Youngman Pangda deal for 250million was just never enough to sustain a start up and contiguity for SAAB this was and is just to set up the deal for the likes of Geely or whoever to buy SAAB for a discount price. I wonder who will walk away from this deal laughing? Answers on a postcard please.


  6. @Alex
    Ok, everybody has his own sight, you like it! I hate the new V 60and i realy dont
    Like to say that! I have grown up with Volvo! My friends were
    realy suprised when i have got my first SAAB! In the meanwhile
    My heart beats more for SAAB than Volvo. But i will never
    Sale my V 90 i, just love that car!

  7. .
    It was/is inevitable the wolf[s] will start to circle…….they can stiff out a Bargain @ a million miles, that’s just the animal in them.
    They are all laying their Cards on the table, in a ‘just in case’ situation, which the Administrator will have to deal with, if the current work, does not bear fruit.

    Regarding the 70mil, from Youngman, I always thought that was some sort of delaying tactic on VM’s behalf, as IF the full Chinese deal did actually happen, they [Youngman] would have had access to the IP of SAAB, being they would own the Company [or at least 1/3rd of it……so why buy IP when in a few months you’d own part of it anyway…..

  8. Should the headline read ‘Geely wants to ensure that nobody gets Saab to protect Volvo?’.

    I am guessing they will be trying to influence the Chinese Politburo to put the khybosh on Pang Da/Youngman dealing with Saab.

    Griffin up!!

  9. I’d honestly LOVE for Geely to purchase Saab. Everyone criticized Volvo’s “Chinese” hands, but frankly I think Volvo is at the top of their game right now.

    Geely can have a “Swedish” arm where Volvo is aimed towards the family/safety crowd, whereas Saab is marketing towards the performance/enthusiast crowd.

  10. What I read in Sweden today was that there have been talks of Youngman pulling out. Anyone know if there’s any substance in this, or is it just speculation?

    • I don’t think that they can now… But I can’t be sure. It’s a binding agreement, after all… Can someone sum up if it’s possible or not for me? Thanks!

      • AFAIK the deal is subject to agreement by the various governmental authorities. So, if they change their minds and want to pull out they can just ask the NDRC to block it. Any ‘binding agreement’ subject to governmental approval is in practice not really binding at all.

        • Youngman, as I remember it, almost bullied their way into this agreement (kicking Hawtai out in the process).

          I think pulling out now (even covertly) would mean they lose face.

          It is not impossible of course, but until we get some confirmation I see no reason on dwelling on it.

  11. If push comes to a shove,I really would like for BMW to buy or purchase SAAB. SAAB intended on using BMW engines in some of their models. BMW and SAAB could share technology. Just a thought…

  12. Because the SU Inbox was full over the past weekend my story that Volvo is going to close down their convertible plant in Uddevalla, a mere 15 miles or so west of Trollhättan never was accepted. But the crux of the matter is that production needs to start soon as the 3 month clock is ticking and SAAB needs to start making money.

    This vital for the economic well being of western Sweden.

  13. well…have you ever thought about the possibility that China’s not so free market economy based government could decide that not Youngman but Geely should seal the deal? Just a thought.
    By the way…Saab an Volvo could make a great company. Audi and VW could be a role model 🙂 or maybe Hyundai and Kia

  14. It seems that there is more then just a rumor. TTELA, which has been a very reliable source of SAAB information has confirmed the rumor:

    Personally, I agree to those who advocates the Geely acquisition. I would also LOVE Geely to buy the whole company 100%! We are often discussing some irrational and right now for me irrelevant terms and statements like “car soul” and “Volvo has lost its soul since Geely” etc. Car soul belongs to the car commercials and we can discuss the “car soul”, “tire soul”, “brakes souls” and other of the “Top Gear” terms as soon as SAAB is back on its feet and start selling the cars in big numbers! Until that SAAB and we SAAB fans should hail any opportunity for saving this remarkable brand.

    • I don’t think that Volvo have lost “soul” because of Geely.
      What I am really afraid for is that Geely/Volvo could either swallow Saab or make Saab an re-dressed Volvo – which would mean that Saab will no longer be a Saab and will loose the strong identity, integrity, originality – and “soul” it have always had… (and become “just a car”)

      • Well, the risk is high that it happens, but what would it be different from the GM days? I am certain that some people think that SAAB lost it soul back then in 1989 (when GM bought the first shares in SAAB) and the last proper SAABs were the old 900 and 9000.
        Another interesting rumor is that the Swedish state is willing and are negotiating with Mr. Lofalk to buy out the EIB loan. Then this would then be transferred in a substantial amount of SAAB shares that are to be sold to “A CHINESE COMPANY”. The Swedish state then can choose to whom to sell them and accordingly to some sources (TV4) their favourite CHINESE COMPANY is Geely.
        Interesting days to come!

  15. But what of Youngman and Pang Da. Do they just get the good old two fingered salute and told to venture forth? Maybe Geely is looking to make windmills? MAUD ARE YOU THERE, DEAR? 😉

  16. Clam down everybody.Before a deal is finished .There are always rumors all over the media.Nobody can push the cash immediately when someone just made a deal initially.It means Pang Da and Young have had a big confidence on the deal.I wish their meeting with NDRC will be good.

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