Why are Youngman so keen on Saab?

Last week autonewschina.com featured an interesting piece written by their managing editor, Yang Jian. It gives a few insights how Saab is seen from a Chinese view. It also indicates that Youngman’s interest in Saab in not that fresh, they already looked at the brand for quite a while.

Why are the Chinese so keen to acquire Saab?
Yang Jian | 2011/12/16

SHANGHAI — Once again, liquidation looms for Saab Automobile AB as a Swedish court decides whether to end the company’s credit protection.

And once again a Chinese suitor — this time Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. — is trying to save the brand.

This week, Youngman wired $5 million (32 million yuan) to pay Saab’s immediate tax expenses. Earlier this year, Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. paid 401 million yuan to buy a fleet of Saab vehicles.

But why are these companies so keen to acquire the deeply troubled Swedish brand? The answer is that Pang Da and Youngman understand the value of a global brand.

Read moreWhy are Youngman so keen on Saab?

Decision Week

On Sunday we got to report about a new deal that was negotiated in Stockholm between SWAN, Youngman and, as a new partner, a bank in China. Honestly I had expected more positive news yesterday but obviously not everything running smoothly.

There have already been reports that GM is not fond of that new plan, but if we listen carefully to James Cain we learn that no decision has been made on that new proposal. Actually he said that it has not been worked on. I’d believe that they are just not finished yet because such a plan may be a lot to read. So hold your horses about that one, James will surely inform us when they are done. Still, I hope it will be soon as time is running out.

Some may see that bank in China as a placeholder for Youngman, who may want to buy those shares in a few years time. May be true, and this is how those deals are often done. It should be ok for GM if the bank is in until GM’s license agreements run out. As I already said yesterday, the fact that then bank is above the 20% barrier should not matter because it is not a competitor, just a strategic investor.

Pang Da stated yesterday that they are not out of the game. I wonder why they were not included in the plan that surfaced on the weekend but maybe they could be the party in the game who can help to get all involved parties below those 20 % hurdle. Just a thought.

Other news stated that Guy Lofalk is about to end the reconstruction. Well, this may be nessesary if no money comes into Saab. Youngman is dedicated to inject enough cash to continue reconstruction and pay the wages but I can imagine that they wait for a positive sign from GM. They don’t want to sink even more money into Saab without seeing a chance to get the deal through. I don’t know if the NDRC told them to stop or if they are just cautious.

Either way – we need the plan to be approved by GM so that Youngman will inject the funding and reconstruction can continue. And it is needed now, not in a few weeks. Everybody has to be aware of that.

The other thing is the critics that arise when it comes to Lofalk. I’ve had my say on this, I’ll leave it here. Just: please Mr. Lofalk, pull yourself together, do your job and help to find a solution.

Pang Da: We’re Still There

This one is from Reuters. Pang Da says that they are not out of the deal, on the contrary, they continue talks:

China’s Pang Da Automobile Trade Co will continue talks with various parties including Saab on plans to invest in the crisis-hit Swedish carmaker, it said in a statement.

Saab owner Swedish Automobile said on Monday a Chinese bank was in talks about taking a stake in Saab, although it declined to name the bank.

Read morePang Da: We’re Still There

Dagens Nyheter on the new proposal from YMPD

Dagens Nyheter has posted a short article on what they think the new proposal from YMPD for GM is. As you can see, they are still trying to reach a 100% ownership of Saab, but now Youngman would be the minority owner.

I’m not sure if this will make GM move from the NO to a YES, but I also don’t think that YMPD has made this proposition without knowing GM’s real reasons for the NO.

We are now in a similar situation as in December 2009, we have a GM not willing to sell, and a new owner with very interesting plans for our beloved brand. I’m only hoping that this time the new owner really has the money needed to make Saab flourish.

Read moreDagens Nyheter on the new proposal from YMPD

Ny Teknik on building Saabs without GM licenses

Ny Teknik have an interesting article on how Saab could produce cars without being bothered by GM:

GM can not stop Saab, or the person who buys the company from building a new generation cars. All the basic technology is controlled by Saab. Thus opens the way for Chinese Youngman and Pang Da.

The next generation of Saab cars are based on Phoenix, a kind of basic drawing and basic design that can be used for a number of new car models. It is controlled by Saab, unlike today’s cars, which GM owns a large part of the technology.

Read moreNy Teknik on building Saabs without GM licenses

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.

Press release: Official Saab statement on Reuters report 2nd UPDATE

Swan, Saab Automobile And Pang Da Respond To Media Reports

Trollhättan, Sweden: Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., Ltd (Pang Da) have taken notice of media reports questioning the validity of the partnership agreements between Swan, Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) and Pang Da after Saab Automobile entered into voluntary reorganization. Swan, Saab Automobile and Pang Da underline that these reports are based on a misunderstanding.

Read morePress release: Official Saab statement on Reuters report 2nd UPDATE

On Chinese News From Western Reporting Agencies

Ever since Saab found hope in China for a lifeline, we’ve been combing the Chinese papers for quotes, stories, and other reportable news. Unfortunately, without knowing the language well, we must rely on the limited translations and translation search engines like google that are available. This often results in less than ideal interpretations at best, and downright misleading news at worst. Sadly, over the past few days, what we’ve heard from major Western reporting agencies seems to be the latter.  Take these reports with a huge grain of salt. Not to say that they are missing translations alone, sometimes they’re just interpreting phrases or dialogue with a completely different lens devoid of context, and thus completely warping someone’s words. As an example of what comes up when we use google to translate an article from Chinese auto insider website auto.soho.com, try to crack the code and “read the tea leaves” so to speak, after the break.

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