Youngman meeting the receivers

ttela.se reports that right now the receivers are meeting Youngman for further discussions on their bid. Reportedly both Pang Qingnian and Rachel Pang are part of the Chinese delegation, as well as representatives of a Chinese bank. It will most likely be about financial details as well as about their plans for Saab.

The starting point is the bid, the Chinese company previously put on Saab, the forms of and ability to find a way forward.

Youngman has already had considerable difficulties, given that GM said no, but have tried to find a solution that does not include the technology licenses as GM controls, which eliminates most of the models that Saab had.

While I’ve been quite critical towards Youngman in the past I still hope that they are able to present a sound plan to overcome all hurdles in their way. Every party that is in the process is good because it raises the chance that Saab is kept together and cars start rolling out of the Trollhättan factory again some time in the future.

But most of all it is good to see the process is moving forward and serious talks have started.

76 thoughts on “Youngman meeting the receivers”

  1. BMW would be my #1 choice, but honestly I think anyone who buys the brand as a whole to produce cars under the SAAB brand will try their best to do it justice. They know how rabid the fanbase is, and if they screw around they will have virtually no support in the marketplace.

    If you can’t sell a Saab to a Saab owner, who the hell can you sell one to?

  2. I certainly hope that the receivers are fully aware that GM is saying no to anybody attempting to get the licenses and taking that into account…

    It would be unthinkable if they are holding the mindset that GM should/must be apart of this in really any way.

    • With the people who dropped out I think anyone interested has to understand that by now right? Plus Youngman was denied by GM twice now right?

    • I fully agree. If the Receivers are under the dellusion/misconception that GM is going to transform from arrogant obstructionist to business-like partner, we’re all in trouble.

      • We all know that if there are no better options left, ovlov will be in the news. So, one can only hope that there are better options being discussed…

    • Angelo, You should submit a proposal through the receivers before she goes back to China. You never know, everything has a price in this capitalist world (except for GM). Man, she must be loaded, I’m afraid you have to come up with something really big though!

      • Guys, I hate to douse your enthusiasm, but I think Miss Pang is out of the league of just about everyone here on SU. Because anyone in her league would have been able to make a bid for Saab himself!

  3. Although I still think Youngman is a long shot, you have to respect their persistence and tenacity. These are very admirable traits to have, especially in the context of this situation.

    +1 Youngman

  4. I guess whoever buys the factory to produce cars and gives a second chance to people in TH is ok. But deep down, I can’t stop hoping it’d be someone who would get the licenses from GM. Partly because I’m selfish, and I want to make sure there will be parts for my 9-5 in the years to come. And partly because the 9-5 SC is such a nice car that I truly think the automotive world would be at a loss not having it around.

    OT: I get more and more appreciative looks from people who seem genuinely impressed by the 9-5. One can only imagine the effect the estate would have.

    • There’s no question that the best path forward with the best opportunity for success is for full production of the 9-4, 9-5 and 9-3 with GM IP. The new models are beautiful cars, no doubt about it. I think the last 9-5 might be the best looking Saab ever produced. I’m not sure how reliable they are—-hopefully they are mechanically good but I don’t know anyone who owns one and so few were sold, I don’t think they are even rated in consumer magazines. But if GM continues to stay the course of trying to bury Saab, we need a bidder who is fully ready to break with the past—-even the beautiful recent past—-and start over. If they can somehow bridge to the future with a 9-3, devoid of GM tech, it helps. The 9-5 is a timeless design—-that basic body style could have easily managed 10 years. Seems like a terrible waste. What happens to the tooling? Is there any possible way the car could be reintroduced in the future, looking basically the same but with other mechanicals? Or is that so expensive, it wouldn’t make sense?

      • I’ve had my 2010 9-5 Aero for 18 months now, and I have 12,500 miles on it. It’s been nearly flawless, and it’s just amazing to drive.

        I realize the plural of anecdote is not data, but for me it’s been exceptionally reliable.

        FYI

        • That is good to hear. I have a 2004—-bought new—-and the first real mechanical I had to do was last week—-a leaking heater bypass valve that wasn’t even a very expensive repair and it was covered by an extended GM warranty (GMPP). Unfortunately for me, that extended warranty runs out this Summer—-then I’m on my own.

        • I’ve had the front brake disks replaced on my 2,8 V6 9-5. I’ve been told it’s a problem with this model. Luckily, they’ve got the new disks in december, before the bankruptcy, so it was coved by warranty. Other than that, only the steering column error, a couple of times.

          I’ve had the car for a year now, and I’m very happy with it. This is why I can’t imagine the 9-5 going to the bin just like that.

        • I also have a 2010 9-5 Aero but for 15 months now, with 17,500 miles and it too, has been nearly flawless. My favorite of 7 SAABs over the past 9 years.

      • As Bullnose has just raised the point about GM IP, I think Mahindra are the only ones in with a chance of doing some kind of deal on this, and even this is not going to be easy. This is the only way a relatively seamless transition to Saab production is going to happen, otherwise there is going to be a long hiatus, and with it a danger that things for Saab could change radically – and maybe also not for the best.
        Angelo, I have a new 95 2.8 v6 xwd. It’s a lovely car. The v6 engine is silky smooth and poweful – I’ve hirsched mine to 330 hp. I was originally holding out for the estate but when I saw what was happening, I thought I would rather have the saloon, rather than potentially nothing. The car would benefit from a general upgrade in terms of interior quality certainly in some areas where the plastics are too on the light side, e.g. the window switches. The leather around the gearshift could also be tougher. Alas no interior is ever going to be like the old 9000’s.
        I do hope that the 95 estate will still appear, as it is such a terrible shame to waste all the parts that have been manufactured for this car. Maybe they’ll be used in some other future vehicle under a different badge.

  5. SWAN seemed to have a deal that allowed them to carry on with GM technology, but they ran out of funds. I would guess that most previous bidders for the bankrupt company would be hoping for a GM deal so that they could restart the production at minimum cost.
    Now we seem to be in a phase where the remaining bidders are having to accept that GM are not going to agree to their IP technology being used, so in my mind that really means only bidders with deep pockets and able to stand two years of massive losses will be left.
    Saab has a history of sourcing most of its components from other manufacturers: my SAAB 96 V4 was full of British and German components/ technology.
    We could have a situation here where the likes of BMW make a reasonable bid because they can get a complete platform available to SAAB (even if an outgoing model to be rebadged), with others offering a nominal 1kr plus taking on debts and future running costs/ losses.

    • Yes Bullnose and I think GM considered this carefully before licensing to SWAN—-they’re incompetent at most things over at GM, but were unstupid enough to figure that SWAN couldn’t hack it in the economy of that period of time (in fact, an economy that hasn’t come close to fully recovering, even now). GM seems to be an expert at financial failure and I think they knew SWAN couldn’t succeed long term and as it turned out, short term either. They picked someone ripe for failure and offloaded the business with virtually no serious risk, maintaining the control they are exercising now. As much as I’d like to see production of the 9-5 and 9-4 continue, a part of me is thinking the sooner Saab breaks with these people, the better. It will be serious bleeding for a long time—-but a future without GM can be healthier if someone with commitment and cash steers Saab to greener pastures.

      • What was the point of selling knowing the sale was doomed? So they could lose even more money and make more people pissed off at GM? I think GM was hoping on VA getting in eventually just was much as VM was hoping, and was hoping Saab would have enough money to make it.

        Otherwise these license agreements just cost GM in multiple ways. GM certainly hasn’t made any money on their licenses to Spyker and all they have done is increased ill will against GM by this venture with Spyker. When you have a partner that fails you fail as well both financially and in your reputation.

        I don’t think GM wants another deal like Spyker — ever. BH was another Spyker deal. Youngman could turn out to be as bad as the Spyker deal did; it is certainly risky, especially for a US company partly owned by the US government.

        Only Mahindra and BMW can really offer GM a partnership GM needs, long term financial stability and a proven track record of success.

  6. General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen agreed this week to form a long-term alliance to share vehicle platforms and jointly purchase parts and materials.
    Sign up for the Automotive News Europe Congress to hear confirmed speakers PSA CEO Philippe Varin and Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke!

    Maybe now that GM is getting a bit “frenchie” they relax and agree some licenses 😉

      • Don’t give up yet. A new owner will probably want to generate goodwill with Saab owners—-particularly those who just plunked down to buy. I think they will do a cost analysis to find out how badly they’ll be hurt by reinstating/covering the warranties. If they think the goodwill they buy is worth the cost they will incur, they might just cover these cars. It’s not a huge amount of cars—-and maybe they will choose not to cover the cars sold after the date when everyone knew there was no warranty coverage, as that fact was built into the low cost and many of these people bought aftermarket warranties. The new owner might cover people who purchased cars WITH warranties and lost the warranties.

        • Yeah, I don’t think they’ll cover those who bought the cars on fire sale “as is” since those were sold as used cars. If they manage to bring Saab back and do *not* cover 2010/2011 owners to paid the full retail price of their car, I will probably end up trading my Saab in and buying a BMW or Audi. Love my 93 Combi, but not going to deal with a brand who doesn’t look after those who support them.

          • In the UK a replacement scheme is on offer at a cost, but there are so many exclusions it doesn`t seem worth the paper it`s written on. I`m probably going to hold out to see what any new owner does, hopefully re-instate the original warranty – in my case 2yrs and 4mths – or rely on SAAB reliability.

            • Cannot rely on Saab reliability. Last summer after one month I got my 93, the moonroof cannot close. It is not a major problem, but with dealers 130 miles away, 120F degree everyday in summer, and my busy work day schedule, I have to drove the car with moonroof open with 120F degree for several days and finally SCNA took care of it….

              • Sorry to hear about your troubles, but this is not how one would go about measuring reliability.

                You need a statistically significant sample size before you can even begin to think about that. (and that is before you deal with the question: What signifies reliability anyway? A broken cam shaft is probably a tad more serious than a worn out brake disc… How is that reflected in the stats?)

                Saabs usually score quite well in reliability surveys. See: http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2010/08/saab-reliability-ratings-from-germany.html

                And finally… Who made the part in question? Tim told me about a guy with an Audi that asked an Audi dealer to replace his timing chain after 100K km. The dealer replied “nonsense, you only need to do that on Saabs and Volvos!”. After less than 50K km more the thing broke, severely damaging the engine block. What the dealer failed to realize is that the manufacturer of that chain is the same for most brands. There is no magic fairy dust sprinkled on the one designated for Audis. That was an expensive lesson …for the customer.

    • I understood only the current 9-3 and the new ones on the Phoenix platform … but then on the current 9-3 there is the problem of the engines, I guess

      • Carlo, As has been mentioned elsewhere, Saab has a history of getting engine suppliers, most recently VM’s agreement to have BMW supply Saab during the SWAN ownership period.

        It all depends on the eventual owner. I suppose a quick fix for YM would be to purchase or license the old Saab B235 (2.3 liter) engine back from BAIC who now owns the toolings and design and produces it for their cars.

        M&M has a series of diesels from 2.2 to 2.5 liters producing 100-120 bhp (and I’m sure MapTun and Hirsch can quickly coax more power from these). Ssangyong (owned by M&M) has both diesels and petrol engines. The petrol engines are all 6 cylinders, -may- be Mercedes sourced, and range in size from 2.8 to 3.6 liters.

    • Not that long.

      But it depends if they want to continue where SWAN had to quit, or if they want to start from scratch.

    • I heard from some news that the current 93 can be produced in 18 months…Forget about GM, the REBORN Saab WILL NEVER HAVE ANYTHING RELATED TO GM, IF IT HAS THE CHANCE TO…

  7. If any new owner can proceed only with the 9-3, I think with a slight face lift to the interior and SID and Satnav upgrade and the price pitched correctly (lower), this car could be a good seller. I`ve just walked across the Supermarket carpark towards my MY12 9-3 SC and think that so-called dated body looks every bit as good as the competitors – low, lean and ready to go, like a greyhound waiting in it`s trap. SAAB UP!

    • I agree. It’s a good looking car and many prospective buyers (if they lower the price a bit) have never been in one or seen one up close. It will look fresh to them, especially with a minor facelift. That car could still sell in reasonable numbers. The real question is, can GM block the 9-3 too? Because if they can, they undoubtedly will.

      • Angelo, at least two bidders want to check if GM really can.

        But on the last interview from just-auto to a GM spokesman, this spokesman said this:

        “They approached us and sent letters – we responded saying we were not interested in having negotiations or discussions. We would not be producing the 9-4X or licensing technology for the 9-5 to anyone following the sale of Saab – we have not changed our position.”

        He was talking about Brightwell, and although I’ve re-read this sentence many times, I can’t find no reference to the 9-3.

        • I would say the same to Brightwell and any other bidder that didn’t have deep pockets. That is how you run these lesser bidders off. You say these kinds of things publicly.

          I bet GM’s tune would be entirely different with Mahindra and BMW (behind closed doors of course). Which is how I suspect this is really being handled.

        • “He was talking about Brightwell, and although I’ve re-read this sentence many times, I can’t find no reference to the 9-3.”

          My God, Holmes, I think you’ve cracked it!

    • Tony, I couldn’t agree more. With a slight upgrade to the interior and the display the 9-3 has plenty of life in it. At a quick glance a pre-2011 3-series nose look surprisingly similar to a Griffin’s. So Saab can’t be outdated on the outside by more than a year compared to the trend setter.
      YM or M&M should really try to push the TTiD to N.A. asap to have something completely new to offer Saabers on the other side of the pond.

      Angelo, you’d be shocked how many MPG you’d get from a 180 hp engine. A way to justify a reasonable price maybe?

      • RS: I agree with you. My 9-5 wagon has a 220 HP engine that gets me a solid 30 MPG on the highway. Of course, I’m not sure about the 9-3 but the 9-5 requires the most expensive, high octane fuel—-so no, I don’t think the MPG justifies a higher sticker price because the savings are offset by having to spend more on the fill-up. I think the price can be brought down with a 9-3 model that has fewer features—-premium cloth instead of leather, possibly even manual adjust seats instead of power accessories.

        • Angelo, as an owner of a NG9-5, I can tell you that it does not require the most expensive, high octane fuel. It may run better on it, but the manual clearly states that 87 octane is acceptable, unless you are at a high altitude.

        • Should have been more clear (again). I meant the MPG of a 180 hp diesel.
          Although I can’t remember the reason for not being pushed to N.A. before, it must have got to do with the high regulatory costs. Only this time the dealers REALLY need something to sell and the owner -whoever it is- will have a heck of a lot more cash than Spyker to get the approvals necessary.

  8. Do we know what is GMIP and what is not???
    Understand 9-4x and new 9-5 is (nearly) 100% GMIP, but lots of tech is off the shelf from suppliers. Does the IP pertain more to chassi and body works? To what extent?
    In the end what is there to buy of the bankrupt Saab estate, just approximately?
    Anyone in the know?
    Could a successful suitor start to build ie the convertible or the 9-3x?

  9. Here’s what I’m hoping for at this stage: a company (Youngman, or Mahindra, or BMW, or this mysterious Swedish concern, or the Law Offices of Dewey Cheatham & Howe, for all I care) to finally announce that they’ve purchased Saab, somehow managed to skirt around GM’s incessant filibustering and have serious plans underway to begin manufacturing new Saabs in Sweden ASAP. At that point, I will shout at the top of my lungs, from rooftops and rafters and websites aplenty, that Saab is back and deserving of a genuine shot at success. I pledge here and now, by the rights vested in me by the World Wide Web, that when such a day comes, I will set aside whatever worldly possessions, hobbies and habits are necessary to at last procure a brand new Saab, fresh off a future dealer showroom floor. And I live in Alaska, where we lost our one and only Saab dealer when GM sold Victor his wind tunnel. I will fly down to Seattle if need be, sign myself into an unwelcome state of monthly debt and buy a new Saab, if some deal, any deal, actually goes through. This I swear in sight of anyone with an Internet connection, so help me FSM. It would be the least I could do, to help revive the car company I love so irrationally.

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