Youngman CEO Pang Qingnian on

Mr. Qingnian says: “The goal is to buy the complete Saab and to continue to make the cars in Sweden. We want to do it using the present factory and the equipment inside. With that equipment one can reach the demands the market has on a car with the Saab brand. To many parties were invited by Victor Muller, Hawtai and Pang Da, he says he likes Victor Muller as a person, but if he had managed Saab wisely Saab would never had gone bankrupt. The task was to big for Victor Muller”

Pang says he is ready to put 2 Billion SEK on the table and buy Saab. If that is a bid the lawyers will accept we will see in a few days I hope.
According to Swedish media the cut off date for bids was monday evening. So technically there must be a winner out there somewhere…..

102 thoughts on “Youngman CEO Pang Qingnian on”

  1. I’m dying to know about the other parties. As for YM, I wish them luck. I mean, if they turn out to be the only savior, go for it. Better than no Saab at all and hopefully they’ll manage it right.

  2. If BMW???? Don’t get SAAB, I hope Youngman get it. They clearly have a vision for the company and money to make it happened. In my eyes Youngman is the only bidder that has a plan, all others involve GM and we all know GM is just waiting for the chance to bury SAAB for good. XXXX GM and the horse they rode in on.

  3. I hope that someone brings my griffins back to life….I almost considered buying a 2012 passat…BRING BACK SAAB BEFORE I DO SOMETHING FINANCIALLY STUPID!!

  4. Nice to hear some good news;

    I met a new colleague the other day. He moved to Sweden just because
    he had fallen in love with SAAB!

    Like storys like that ,-)

    • In Dec 2010 I have visited Sweden (Stockholm) the first time in my life. As I have had Saab 9-5 Aero since 2005 I wanted to discover for myself how popular the brand was in Sweden. The impression exceeded all my expectations – Saabs were everythere, on every streets! It was feeling similar to being at home among old friends. I never forget it.

    • Yeah, maybe that’s why VM was vetting BH instead of Youngman… If someone spit on me I wouldn’t help them either. On the other hand maybe someone could have done better. Maybe if they had deeper pockets, but there is no denying that VM gave it his all this past year. Can they?

      • Unfortunately I think what happened was VM thought the Saab fan base plus the release of the ng9-5 was going to be enough to stave off the jackals until the Phoenix was developed. Would’ve been a hail mary, but things got too grim.
        On the other hand if he hadn’t scrambled as hard and long as he did the Phoenix platform wouldn’t be as far along as it is, and then I think the bidding pool would’ve been much smaller, or else Volvo would’ve just been given the machinery, book closed. Did Victor do things perfect? Maybe not, but he gave Saab an awesome bargaining tool (Phoenix) and most importantly he cared, he put his heart and soul into this project. That’s why he was a great leader.

        • If that money was spent on building cars and marketing, maybe they would not be where they are. I understand wanting your own platform. But that was a huge expense, one that a small struggling company could not afford.

          • There are those who say the 9-3 was old. Which, if one disregards new tech like XWD and new engines that was added, is true. Sort of.

            In light of that, one need something to replace it with. Even if you (like me) claim that the 9-3 w/XWD is only a four year old car, it still needed to be replaced in a not too-distant future (say 2013/14..?).

            As for marketing, I hear they spent quite a bit of money on that. What they got in return is discussable, but the amount of money shoved in was substantial. A year ago, as I understand it, they did not need that much funding to get started again. A little restraint shown in the marketing dept should have covered that gap with room to spare.

      • I don’t think it was mismanagement as much as lack of funding—-and Mr. Pang alluded to the task being “too big” for Victor Muller. I think that might translate as “biting off more than you can chew.” I’m grateful to Victor Muller for keeping Saab’s heart pumping long enough for Saab to be on this current life support—-gravely ill, but still not quite dead. But that said—-is there really any logical way to argue Mr. Pang’s assertion? If Mr. Pang was wrong, Saab’s would be rolling off the assembly line. The business plan failed.

      • The reason why was lack of funding, which was due to the fact, that not enough new cars were sold, period.

        Who, of all those stating VM’s mismanagement is the reason for the tragedy, actually bought a new car 2010 or 2011. Of course there wasn’t enough cash to jump-start the marketing machine, but unfortunately the numbers that would have generated cash weren’t reached before March/April 2011.

        Whatever the outcome will be, I’m glad I made my dream come true. I think it’s better to try and seemingly fail, something good usually happens later. He tried, he failled – but at least he tried – he deserves some respect – and so does everybody else at Trollhättan who gave their all.

        • I tend to agree with you—but others here have asserted to me that the sales numbers were respectable enough—-they ran out of financing. The theory is that the Russian investor could have helped, but the Swedish government put the kabash on that—other sketchy reasons given about “financing” not coming through leading to the bankruptcy. Me? I think it’s far less sophisticated than that. If you have a factory building cars and shipping cars—-then it stands to reason that if those cars are being sold, the business will sustain itself. If in fact the sales numbers were “respectable” but they still ran out of money—-than it was a poor business plan. Again, how is this even up for debate? They’re bankrupt. Something in the plan didn’t work.

      • Saab saga will be excellent material for Harvard Business School. In the meantime, I want to see new Saabs coming out from the production line. Other things are secondary.

          • That is a pity. If he wanted to do some good, Jens should write a book about the Swedish PM and how SweGov never lifted a finger (beside speaking ill of Saab), starting with the story of Angela Merkel showing up personally in Detroit while the Swedes sent some secretary.

            I could barely control my temper when Jens asked Victor at the Dec 19th press conference what more Victor could have done. Jens spent the last two years trash-talking Victor, while Victor worked 24×7 trying to save thousands of jobs in Sweden. That makes Jens a low-life scum in my book. The situation was (still is) quite surreal.

    • Hold on, I’m pretty sure there’s a tribute page on this very site saying thank you to all of Victor Muller’s hard work, and when I say he had passion for Saab I get three thumb down remarks? That makes a lot of sense.

  5. I just hope Youngman really have a plan for how Saab should continue without its current model range. All parties which have pulled out thus far have been naive enough to think GM are in any way reasonable.

    Like I said before: buy the old Mini platform, build a new 9-2 on it and then sell a green “History Repeats Itself”-edition. Then put XWD on it and go rallying!

    • According to James Cain; VA would have been accepted by GM in April but not by the Europeans who would have loved the Chinese, but who couldn’t be accepted by GM…
      Sums up the whole SAAB drama of 2011 in one sentence right there. But I don’t even want to start speculating how badly the Swedish press would have torn Saab apart if Vladimir had owned a big part of the company at the time of the bank scandal.

    • “Anyone got a plane that I can use drop my 9-5 into GM HQ..? ”

      It’s no use. GM HQ is the Renaissance Center. They’ll just shake and get reborn. The US taxpayers will fund a new RenCen and a couple of hundred zillion dollar for the incentives and bonuses of the new Board. Or maybe they’ll just move their HQ to Shanghai, China being their biggest market anyway. Then how you will be dropping your next 9-5 on them? The Chinese hate bombers entering their airspace without permission. But maybe they will allow it just this once if GM continue to block a sale to a Chinese buyer.


      • Sorry. Ivo. That was all meant in irony. I´m perfectly aware of that we can only sit on the side of the court and wait and see and hope.

        What I meant is that there is a tiiiny bit of frustration growing in me towards GM at this point.
        It is what it is, but one cannot wonder: Why?
        Mr Cains statements are full of eroors as well.
        “GM are not to blame for suppliers and employees not being paid” .. No mr Cain not this time, but remember 2009…?

        • No sorries, Daniel. My comment was, in point of fact, sarcastic. Or maybe even sardonic. As far as I’m concerned, ironic just doesn’t cut it anymore when we talk about GM. And you can drop 20 old 9-5’s on RenCen for all I care about them. Then again, perhaps you should drop a flock of Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Saturns and Hummers on it, it would be more fitting anyway and we retain more old 9-5’s for parts.


  6. I believe Mr. Qingnian is forgetting one important domino in the Saab’s bankruptcy filling… GM did not no allow VM to work with any Chinese companies….

  7. It’s interesting to read some of these comments where the writer makes some really wild, unfounded statements, as though he knows what’s going on, and all the facts etc. To make statements when you don’t even know one iota of what’s going on behind closed doors is really shocking.

      • @CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
        YM are in negotiation for a prize and will be committed to pay what they bid. However, sometimes when you are negotiating you might suggest something that may be a bit of an exaggeration to try to improve your case. What I mean is that the USD300m is certain, but the USD1bn may not quite work out to be quite that. OTOH I am quite sure that they would have access to that sort of funding were it to be necessary to make the acquisition work.

    • That’s the bid. How much they would be ready to invest, who knows? Big figures were discussed in the latest interview.
      A golden opportunity for M&M to make their move to grab Saab imho.

  8. IMHO we can all just forget BMW and concentrate on two bids: YM and M&M. So China vs India. BMW is kind of wish come true but also “too good to be true”. Even if BMW is interested it is probably only in production capacity and maybe Phoenix platform.
    Swade on his blog says that YM is equal to disaster. He would rather keep memories than having SAAB owned by YM. Pretty tough but it comes from an insider, so I don’t have any reason to not believe.
    So for me the only hope now is Mahindra! Go India!

  9. My understanding is that unless YM has NDRC approval already (and there is zero indication that this has occurred), there can be no completed sale. YM is a bus manufacturer with little experience in making cars, and in the case that the current Saab suppliers do not want to sell to the new owners, there will be many problems with sourcing. For this and other reasons that have been brought up here, Youngman is my last choice to win the bid.

    Brightwell was an intriguing option that did not play out– I have been following and translating Brightwell news in Turkish publications, as well as Chairman Alphan Manas’ blog and Twitter feed. Their plan was to restart immediately with the current cars (including the 9-4X), and migrate to a new platform and supply chain as quickly as possible– GM would have received a lot of licensing money if they agreed to do this.

    If BMW is indeed interested in buying all of Saab and restarting production there, that is ideal– however, a friend of mine who is a big BMW fan remarked that BMW has done terribly managing the last 2 marques that they bought (Rover and Rolls Royce) and left it at that. On the plus side, BMW owns Swedish motorcycle manufacturer Husqvarna, and that is doing very well!

    M&M has platforms, a supply chain in place and a lot of money to allow for Saab to lay low for a period, develop an all-new platform, and release their new GM-free cars. They can also offer Saab dealerships their current product line (M&M and Ssangyong vehicles) to keep them in business if they have to wait for the new Saabs.

    For me, it is between M&M and BMW. Youngman is mainly interested in keeping themselves from being consolidated into a Chinese government owned auto conglomerate.

    • The parts about YM are all wrong:

      1. NDRC’s OK is not an issue at all. YM keeps constant communication with NDRC. It’s all business among Chinese, not an issue at all.

      2. There was a delegation including the suppliers visiting YM in January, they are pretty happy with YM.

    • For me, now that BH are out of the game, it’s BMW. No disrespect, but quality parts bin! If they leave SAAB to their own devices for design etc, could prove to be a lucrative proposition for them, particularly in European markets.

    • Youngman has NDRC approval,sort of. The ceo for youngman is also a politician. He has his okay. He keeps in contact constantly. He has disclosed this in a few interviews. I cannot judge a company based on some one elses opinion. I choose to vote for the winner. Whoever wants SAAB bad enough will get SAAB. That is how I measure loyalty to the brand.

  10. I know I am “hated” somewho on SU for one or another reason.

    I said BH was only a tool to make the bids hot, now BH is gone, my word becomes true.

    I said MM has no plan and no chance to get Saab and MARK MY WORDS MM will be gone in a few days SUPPOSE they did place a bid (and if a bid IMO it’s not for the whole thing just parts like Volvo and Baic did). The reason is very simple, MM does not have a HOME MARKET to feed Saab, India’s personal car market is only 1/10 of that of China.

    Keep wishful thinking over MM or BMW I know I am a bit harsh here but YM and only YM has the intention to keep Saab into LONG LONG future.

    Don’t forget YM and Geely are from same province, YM will do its BEST to keep Saab high they don’t want to be a loser in front of Geely who owns Volvo.

    • I hope you are right in all you say about YM. They have shown a lot of perseverance so far and they are the only one I am sure will not give up.

    • Your logic seems sound. BH did have VM on their side. It could have been a ploy. M&M could just be weighing their options. BMW is an unconfirmed rumor. Youngman is interested and has made that a point. They have also put their money where their mouth is. I want someone to buy. I don’t care who just show us that you are crazy for SAAB like we are.

    • CSD we don’t hate you here! We all have our own thoughts on the situation, and are generally pretty nervous and hoping for a good outcome. You being from China just means you’d like to see somebody from your home turf win the bid, there’s nothing wrong with that.

      The apprehentions most of us have about Youngman winning is that they might try and move the production to China, or just take the intellectual property left that Saab has and shut down the Swedish plant and move all production to China to only benefit China. The odds of them doing this is unsure, although honestly I don’t think they would as they’ve handled Lotus quite well. Also the BMW idea has left us pretty starry eyed, so a regional company from China is considered a second/third choice depending on who you are compared to a global automotive leader.

      • Jesse, Lotus is not where you want to take this conversation. Youngman’s relationship with Lotus’s owner, Proton of Malaysia is strained at best.

        • Also, while I believe many are happy that someone is interested in Saab, the fact that this particular company comes from a country who professes to be “communist” is a HUGE turn off for many. This isn’t being racist, it is that China’s political and worker’s culture is so radically different from the typical Saabist’s way of thinking, that this whole endeavor is a bitter pill to swallow. Having said that, if Youngman is the “winner”, I wish them the best and hope they genuinely care about making Saab, Saab again.

        • “fastest growing” does not mean much… If you are at the bottom of the car sales pool and you own 5% of the market and you double to 10% in one year…. you are up 100%…. Hard to use those “growing” numbers if you are a Lexus or BMW…..

        • Certainly wasn’t the month of January. Volvo sales were up 4.3% and Jaguar/Land Rover’s sales were up 30.7% from January a year ago. Daimler up 23% and Audi 19.7%. BMW up only 5.8%.

    • Ok well obviously being nice to CSD didn’t work out so well. If you guys don’t like the sugar coating, I mean “upbeat attitude” this site is normally known for I’ll give it to you straight. I’m a very opinionated, but I try to have a certain level of civility in my writing, and it would appear since BH pulled out of the race the attitude of the commenters has gone downhill.

      The only reason I’d ever in a million years wish China to own Saab is if I thought it was the only way humanly possible. I think China is going to canibalize what little is left of the company and their know how to build cars in China, and I’d ten to one rather see Mahindra own it, and either of those two companies have pretty slim chances of making this happen. The fact Saab has been publicized as being dead for the past two years is going to make bringing it back (even with great new models) hell for the next couple of years, especially if a bus maker or tractor maker own them. 90% of the population think Saab was dissolved by GM, and if you didn’t follow SU that’s what news in the USA professes. The only way this is going to work well is if BMW (pipe dream as far as we know) does buy them, everything else is just an uphill battle. At this time, globally, economically, trying to rebuild Saab just doesn’t seem like a wise decision. Why sink your own ship trying to save another?

      As always I hope my opinion is wrong, I hope that after all these years of almost non existant sales and horrible publicity we can pull a Hyundai and start selling enough cars to justify the new owner keeping them alive.

    • You are not hated. It is just that many of us disagree with you. For those dealers and owners who have invested years and vast sums of money with Saab, many feel that a Youngman ownership would be the demise of our investments and our ability to purchase future Saabs.

      A Youngman ownership would place precedence on the Chinese market, understandably so. But a Youngman ownership would mean that many of us would no longer have the attention of Saab. VM didn’t give the US market near enough attention. Youngman would give it even less.

  11. I rather have another party get Saab that will produce Saab cars than Youngman get them, but if they get them in the end, so be it.
    BMW would be the best choice as they wouldn’t need any licensing from GM & just work on new Saabs on the Phoenix platform to come out in 3-4yrs.

  12. Err, be a bit more culturally sensitive? Chinese names go with Surname first, So with Pang Qingnian, Pang is the family name. Hence Mr.Pang, NOT Mr.Qingnian.

    It would be like calling VM Mr. Victor.

  13. Every time I hear a bidder complaining about the process, or someone in the process, it is not too long before they drop out. Complaining seems to be a bad sign.

  14. My wife had a great quote this evening concerning VM and Saab. “You can’t turn a battleship around in a bathtub.” Meaning maybe the job was just not doable. At least he tried.

    Just a thought.

    • Yes, you can turn a battleship around in a bathtub. It’s very difficult and expensive, but it can be done. You have to disassemble the battleship and then reassemble it, facing in the other direction. I think this analogy is right on target—your wife was right and so am I. You need to think out of the box sometimes—-and Saab hasn’t been doing enough of that since the 1980s, regardless of the owner.

  15. Does anyone in here know if YMs bid includes Saab Parts ?
    if not the bid is fair, if they include it then .. they might need to rethink..

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