Youngman has placed a bid!

First bid, according to National Swedish Radio News/EKOT, was sent to the lawyers some days ago.
1000 workers need for production. 9-3 can be built without GM involvement alongside with Lotus cars.

Swedish TV4 tonight reports this:
Still no comments from the lawyers.
Johan Nylen, Youngmans swedish contact says “No comments” first but then goes on, “Plans for immediate restart of Saab, discussions with significant people and suppliers are ongoing”, according to Nylen.

87 thoughts on “Youngman has placed a bid!”


      Since 18 November 2006, Youngman is also the official importer of sports cars from the English manufacturer Lotus Cars. In another joint-venture with the Lotus Group which was closed in December 2008, Youngman is assembling Lotus and Europestar branded cars in Guangdong for the Domestic Chinese and export market. The units receive a Chinese independent brand to differentiate itself from the English sports car models. The Chinese part of the Lotus Cars is better known under the name Youngman Lotus. With the Lotus joint venture, Youngman is engaged in secondary activities as the exclusive importer of American automotive brand ZAP!. Both brands had its China debut at the Beijing International Auto Show in 2009.

        • This is the first comment I’ve made in a while, but it has to be said. ZAP is basically a stock scam. They used to release press statements to pump and dump their stock, the CEO then sold the Pangs on the promise of low cost and easy to build electric cars. If you want the full and most accurate account, read the Wired Magazine piece. It’s astounding, and one of the many initial reasons I wasn’t too keen on the Youngman connection.

          I’m happy if Youngman can realize the amazing asset Saab is and what an incredible opportunity it is for them if they manage it correctly. I would also hope that they not build Youngman Lotus branded cars in Trollattan, but don’t see why they would need to given that they have a lot more capacity in China already. Youngman is working on an original Lotus engineering platform called the APX (branded ZAP-X and now vaporware originally by ZAP!) for their new Chinese built crossover. At one point in time, I really was hoping ZAP! would be first to market with it. Alas, with the current crop of crossovers, it looks dated now. When one looks at the grill of their new patent application for the new Youngman SUV, you’ll see they’re already ripping off using Saab design traits in the grill and proportions. I don’t know how I feel about this.

          Compare that to the quick photoshop I did overlaying the grill from the Phoenix Concept (which we were told was close to the new 93 if you recall) on top of it.

          I really hope Youngman would manage Saab in much the same way Tata manages Jaguar Land Rover (I understand the differences, but really think that an autonomous European on the ground team is crucial). But their track record with Lotus (which isn’t actual Lotus cars merely Protons) is anything but exemplary to date with allegations of dishonesty and name infringement, so there’s not exactly great relations between the two companies right now. That comes from a pretty high up source within Lotus through one of our contacts at SU. I’m hoping the Pangs prove their partners’ opinions false.

          Lotus ≠ Youngman, Proton ~ Youngman makes more sense. I don’t know if that’s what the original news references.

          • I would think the Lotus partners would need to prove their opinions about the Pangs are true—-it’s hard to prove a negative, so I don’t hold out much hope that the Pang’s can prove something “isn’t.”

          • Can you explain the story about the Lotus name a little better? As far as I know Yougman sells Protons branded as “Lianhua” cars, which means lotus (the flower) in Chinese.

            AFAIK Lotus Cars was going was adopting 路特斯 (lu te si) as its Chinese name, a transliteration of “Lotus.” This would be like practically every single Western brand in China; they all use a transliterated name rather than a translated one.

  1. Also looks like the 9-5, the beautiful 9-5 won’t ever be produced again.
    I simply have to get it in a few years when I have the funds – it’s legendary! 😀

        • I had been eyeing one here in Chicago until it looked like there was a definite buyer for the company but it looks like there was a more definite buyer for that white 9-5 Aero as it sold this past weekend. =(
          It was white with parchment interior, nav, heated AND cooled seats which I must have for the summers!

      • “Do You, J. Trued, take this Jet Black Saab 9-5 to love and cherish (etc…) until death do you apart?”

        Not sure if I got the details right there, but the main message felt somewhat suitable. 🙂

      • Dear all,

        My very first post at saabsunited. As a lawyer I have followed discussions on this forum with great interest. Many things about IPR (intellectual property rights) are commonly misunderstood here. It seems as the license agreements between Saab and GM concerned “technology” only. But what about design rights? It would surprise me much if Saab did not own the design rights to its own cars. Why would GM have keept them back in 2009? Hence, it should not at all be impossible for Saab to manufacture look-a-like NG 95’s and 94x’s on another platform. Maybe you tech nerds out there could tell us how much time Saab would save in its developing process if one would assume that all the necessary design work already has been done. Would it be possible to take the Phoenix platform and scale it up to swiftly fit the current NG 95 and 94x designs?

        • Hi Legally,
          well there is a problem if the proportions of the platform and the proportions of the car doesn’t match.

          On the one side the phoenix modular platform can go from 5.2m till down to 3.8m (not sure about the lower limit), so it can (and will) adopt a big sedan (call it 9-5) and a SUV (call it 9-4x) in a couple of years time, but the phoenix is wider and the overhangs are shorter than the ones from Eps II(9-5) or Theta-Epsilon(9-4x), for that reason adapting the 9-5 to phoenix would change its proportions. It amy look better than the current one, but it can also look much worse, so I don’t see any big advantages in trying to adopt the current car instead of creating a new one.

          At the end of the day, you would only adapt the outer surfaces, but you could not even use the stamping dies, as you would have to change them slightly.

        • I asked this question the other day, since I’m not technical enough to know how difficult it is to put a body shell on a different platform—-and not well versed enough legally to know if they can do it without being sued.

        • It’s a good thought, but there is a bit more to be done than just scale the body shell of the current 9-5 and 9-4 to fit for the phoenix platform.

      • @Trued
        I’ve actually written down a specific registration number that belongs to a fully equipped 9-5 Aero XWD 300 BHP – I’m considering to contact the future owner in a few years… 😉

    • Perhaps one should try to find one of those rare 9-4x. 🙂

      (No, I cant, really. My budget is in the “rusty V4”-domain, regrettably.)

  2. Okay, first bid, now the others will have to follow soon with their proposals. Hahahhahaahahaha, Saab for life! O no that was Volvo …..

  3. I cant see how they are going to produce a 9-3 without GM tech. Do we really want a Saab built with Chinese ‘technology’. Not for me thanks.

      • Great Saab minds think alike! I am just curious as to know if this is more or less than Saab had before they went bankrupt. Regardless, if the bid goes through, it’s wonderful news for the unemployed in Trollhattan!

        • Rune wrote “more than 1000 engineers worked on the Phoenix platform”. Is it grotesque or true ? Where are all this engineers and are there any jobs for them ?

        • Saab had around 3400 employees before the bankruptcy. However, when I read the TTELA article on the subject, I interpret it as 1000 employees are needed in the factory, which should not include the engineering centre etcetera.

  4. I wouldn’t get too excited about the connection with “Lotus”. It’s not the Lotus you’re thinking of. It’s a badge on a china-built vehicle.
    I’m all for Saab coming back but more and more this is leaning toward Youngman buying pieces of Saab not the whole company as we knew it.

  5. I’m waiting for an official statement with some more details before getting too excited, but still, I’m cautiously optimistic. 🙂

  6. I wonder if Youngman’s claims of being able to produce the current 9-3 in 15 weeks with no GM tech is true. If so they must have been working on this plan for a while. BAIC apparently also has some non-exclusive rights to the platform and have developed their C70 sedan from that. Could Youngman be planning to buy parts from them?

  7. And there-if lies the YM problem…

    The B205/B235 [B204/B234] engines were one of the best engines Saab had. Now BAIC has them & Youngman does not.

  8. Vad roligt! KANON! … But I’ll just open a bottle when the first SAAB of the new era will leave the factory! I feel on my elbows that this moment will not last long anymore..

    Det är bra!
    Så länge det finns liv finns det hopp.
    SAAB = Made and to be made in Trollhättan.

    • He seems to say at the end of the article that the receivers’ favorites are BAIC and Geely, which would lead to the greatest number of folks out of work in THN. Is that a reasonable translation? Hopefully not true, if so…

      • Your translation is unfortunately correct.

        The receivers’ brief should be to find the best deal for the creditors I suppose, and nothing else? I can’t see how any of those deals could work out to be more favourable than an all-in-one solution? But I’m not a receiver and don’t have access to the numbers, so what do I know…

    • The gist of the article is that the receivers have as a condition that GM has to approve any deal, which seems a bit odd? Why would their approval be needed now?

      I assume the receivers are obliged to find the best deal for creditors. Granted, GM is one of the largest creditors, but surely the word of the other creditors must count as well, not only the word of GM?

      Same information in this piece as well, about BAIC/Panasonic & Geely/Volvo being preferred by the receivers, ahead of the three buyers who want to buy the whole thing and produce Saabs.

      This is getting interesting. Not necessarily in a good way though.

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