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stasisLAX
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Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:52 am

Bloomberg reported today that Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., the two Chinese companies that agreed last week to buy Saab, have committed to invest approximately 610 million euros ($855 million) in the for-all-purposes bankrupt Swedish automaker beginning in 2012, according to the company's reorganization plan that was posted today on a Swedish courts website. The Chinese companies will also provide a $50 million bridge loan for Saab to use during the reorganization, according to the court document - which will allow Saab to pay suppliers and make payroll to conserve its remaining employees and retain its shrinking dealership network, especially in North America.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...uminar-rescue-bids-bankruptcy.html

Now maybe the 9-4X crossover will make it (truly make it) to the retail market - and perhaps Saab will have a chance to allow the competent (bit overpriced at $50K +) 9-5 sport sedan to gain some traction in the market. Of course, many buyers have stayed away from Saab because of the firm's unknown and unstable future since the bankruptcy of Saab's former parent, General Motors. Now that Saab seems to have a future, perhaps they will sell more then a few thousand cars in America annually.....

[Edited 2011-10-31 19:56:02]

[Edited 2011-10-31 19:58:19]

[Edited 2011-10-31 20:19:05]

[Edited 2011-10-31 20:25:56]
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LH526
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:53 am

I've heard that the money from china is not flowing as fast as Saab needs it .. on the other Hand, Saab will only servive with a small High quality range of cars .. All previous cars where tremendous in any way, till GM took part in the game ... it all went downhill from there. Offer the following and Saab might make it to the next decade:

Saab 9-3: Someting like the Saab 900 of the 80s .. a large agile sporty car, a downgraded 2012 model 9-5 with pure fun to drive, something between a BMW 3 series and a Camaro / Charger.

Saab 9-5: The current 9-5 is perfect, just put MUCH MORE detail on quality, materials, fabrics etc ... as of today it's an average car (yet perfectly designed) at a hefty pricetag.

Saab Sonett: A new smaller roadster from Saab! How 'bout that? A perfectly swedish styled car, something noble like a smaller Aston Martin with the handling of an Ariel Atom.

Other than that, Saab is on teh edge of failing offering standard products at high prices  

Mario (long time Saab driver)
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Polot
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:41 pm

This is all contingent on the Chinese government's approval though. They have made it clear in the pass that they want their automakers to consolidate, and to only buy foreign brands if it provides unique intellectual property, of which Saab (the automaker) has very little of (most of it is GM's or Saab ABs). So this drama now moves on to pleading to the Chinese government stage...its not over.

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Now maybe the 9-4X crossover will make it (truly make it) to the retail market - and perhaps Saab will have a chance to allow the competent (bit overpriced at $50K +) 9-5 sport sedan to gain some traction in the market.

Well the 9-4X already is on the marketplace, and the 9-5 will never gain traction at its current price. It it not just overpriced, it is ridiculously overpriced across the board by around $10,000.


Honestly, I think even if Saab is taken over it is still done. It has done too much to damage its brand within the past 2 years. Many people are completely unaware that Saab still exists, they thought GM killed it off.
 
zalemam
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:53 pm

What happened to spyker owning saab? Didn't they buy the brand from GM last year?
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Flighty
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:30 pm

Spyker ran out of money long ago. Production ceased in April... but sales are slow enough that inventory never ran too low, and the current models (9-5, 9-4X) are good vehicles.

Chinese ownership can provide access to the only large source of auto venture capital (China). Saab can be kept running like Volvo has been. Saab has styling and refinement / ride&handling that make it a good asset (or source of talent) for a Chinese firm.

The JV / owned status also helps Saab's prospects entering the China domestic market, which is shielded from unaffiliated foreign companies.

Car fans should be glad... yesterday it was Porsche and Audi just squeaking by (around 1993). Maserati also recently was nearly gone. It's all cyclical and we can only hope good brands have good marketing and stay out of the graveyard.
 
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:44 pm

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Now that Saab seems to have a future, perhaps they will sell more then a few thousand cars in America annually.....

I'll believe it when I see it. Sometimes I wonder what the point is. People are not buying SAABs, and it's become so clear that even auto dealers in SAAB's home market have given up on trying to sell them. At least now the employees can be paid in time (which has been a problem for SAAB since June-July), and hopefully this deal can turn things around.
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stasisLAX
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting zalemam (Reply 3):
What happened to spyker owning saab? Didn't they buy the brand from GM last year?

Spyker fell apart and was itself scooped up by an American hedge fund called North Street Capital, leaving Saab in the hands of the Swedish courts and at the mercy of several of the Chinese carmakers. The Chinese really want Saab for Saab's safety engineering, which is the major issue that the domestic Chinese automakers are facing, especially when trying to market the "domestic" Chinese vehicles outside of China. They have failed numerous international safety/crash tests, preventing them from selling cars in markets like the EU and the USA.... and the Chinese need access to Saab's engineering.

Source: http://www.swedish-automobile.nl/pdf...lan%2031st%20October%202011%20.pdf

[Edited 2011-11-01 12:28:56]
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jetjack74
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:44 am

I've been a loyal Saab owner for the past 20 years, on my 3rd car and I was going to pass on a 9-3 because of the uncertainty of the company, but when Spyker bought them, I felt a little more confident that Saab may actually do well, but of course that fell through. Now, with the Chinese backing the brand, I have no doubt that they can make it into a winner. They just need a large infusion of cash in order to grow their presence. Saab has been in decline in the last few years and here in Seattle, we're down to a single dealer, 3 of them closing in the last 5 years. Now, hopefully they'll return to the higher-tier car dealers in a few years.
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stasisLAX
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:20 am

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 7):
Saab has been in decline in the last few years and here in Seattle, we're down to a single dealer, 3 of them closing in the last 5 years

Saab's dealer network in the US has been withering away here in Phoenix too - under GM, Saab dealerships were often paired with Cadillac dealerships - why they did that, I don't know. The Saab 9-3 and 9-5 would seem to be a direct competitor to the Cadillac CTS line, I heard that Saab dealers here were experiencing acute parts shortages - and dealerships make alot of their profits from service and parts. No parts, no Saab dealerships.....
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stasisLAX
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:45 am

General Motors still holds controlling shares of Saab and has made it clear that they (GM) DOES NOT support the sale of Saab to the Chinese, mainly due to the fact that all Saab vehicles utilize recently engineered GM platforms and extensively use modern GM technology. The 9-5 and 9-4X are both showcases of GM/Opel current technology. The 9-5, for instance, uses the Opel Insignia's platform and motors - with a heavily tweeked "Saab" suspension, styling, and interior. But for all purposes, it is VERY similiar to the Insignia, Buick Regal, Buick Lacrosse, Chevy Malibu, and other forthcoming GM models. The 9-4X utilizes the Cadillac SRX's platform, which is itself heavily based on Opel's engineering of the Opel Antara CUV.

GM does not want their technology going to the Chinese manufacturers - especially at a fire-sale price. GM does not want to compete (especially in China) with its own technology - at a cut-rate price.

Without GM's agreement to the Chinese sale, Saab will likely disappear from the global marketplace. They simply have no funding to pay suppliers and Saab employees without the financial help of the Chinese. Such a shame, but I guess that's global capitalism at its best (or worst, depending on your point of view).   

Source: http://www.leftlanenews.com/gm-not-a...-support-saab-sale-to-chinese.html
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prebennorholm
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:46 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 9):
General Motors still holds controlling shares of Saab and has made it clear that they (GM) DOES NOT support the sale of Saab to the Chinese...

If that is entirely true, then it is hard to imagine that this...:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 6):
Source: http://www.swedish-automobile.nl/pdf...0.pdf

...would be allowed to stay on the web for more than a few nanoseconds.

There is something which doesn't add up.

But otherwise, I agree with your analysis in reply #9. I am pretty convinced that the Chinese are not even thinking about rescue, continuation and developing of Saab as a running company. They are shopping for technology. Modern car technology and modern car manufacturing technology. And the link above indicates that it is exactly what they will get on the very cheap.

If the Chinese get it their way, then they may continue the Saab brand to ease their primary steps into the European and North American markets. But the current 9-3 and 9-5 models, they may see a few thousand being produced in Trollhättan while the Chinese are learning, but when they don't think they can learn more, then 9-3, 9-5 and everything in Trollhättan will be gone overnight.

The talk about new models - 9-4X, 9-5 Combi etc. - I would take a bet on that being no more than candy for our ears. Or rather a way to keep the brand name current in our minds for a couple of years until 100% Chinese designed and manufactured Saab cars are offered to us. And not unlikely based on current GM technology.

Interesting time may be ahead. What only a few months ago looked like the slow death of the world's smallest car producer, may end up as a major struggle between GM and China.
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stasisLAX
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:07 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 10):
If that is entirely true, then it is hard to imagine that this...:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 6):Source: http://www.swedish-automobile.nl/pdf...0.pdf
...would be allowed to stay on the web for more than a few nanoseconds.

And this PDF has been withdrawl from the web - at least, I cannot find it any longer. Saabs days are - unfortunately - very limited in number.
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melpax
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:19 am

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 7):
Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 8):

On my second Saab in 3 years (a 9-5, replacing a 900 cab.). The current 9-5 is a nice car, pity it didn't come out a few years earlier. Only 3 Saab dealers left here in Melbourne that I know of, as other posters have said, a few Holden dealers took on a Saab franchise, but most of them gave up after GM pulled the pin. At least one of these added an Audi franchise & spent mega bucks building a showroom to German standards after they got rid of Saab. The closest Saab dealer to me is sticking with them (just), though it seems they'd rather sell you a Citroen, Alfa or even a Bentley instead these days, going from their website...

http://www.lancedixon.com.au/index.php
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:52 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 10):
I am pretty convinced that the Chinese are not even thinking about rescue, continuation and developing of Saab as a running company. They are shopping for technology. Modern car technology and modern car manufacturing technology.

Frankly, I don't think the chinese need to be shopping for a technology. Western companies in their stupidity and shortsighted greed are transferring it to China bz the truckloads on their own and bending over backwards (think Airbus & Co.).
How long has it been since BMW's Chinese partner with whom they manufacture BMW cars in China rolled out a blatant copycat version of one of their X-model SUV under their own obscure brand. What do you think BMW did to respond to this theft .... exactly nothing.
What they are really after is the brand.
 
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:58 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 9):
GM does not want their technology going to the Chinese manufacturers - especially at a fire-sale price. GM does not want to compete (especially in China) with its own technology - at a cut-rate price.

That's all fine. I don't think GM could object to Saab (and Cadillac) continuing to produce existing GM based Saabs in Sweden and Mexico, in the case of the 9-4X. Even if the Chinese own the Saab company, they would not have ability to transfer the GM technology to China. Saab after all is a subscriber of GM technology, nothing more. They do not own it.

Optimistically, they could build future Saabs in China using future Saab architecture that is not GM-owned. The first example would be the 9-3 on the so called Phoenix platform due in 2013. Saab does have safety and chassis engineering skills that would be far more advanced and mature than indigenous Chinese automakers. Plus, it is a brand with a bit of prestige, so that's good.

I do not think Saab proposes to just blatantly use GM technology in China. GM rightly points out that that would be ridiculous. Instead, they are hoping to design future cars in the European style, using suppliers including BMW and ZF, not only GM.

[Edited 2011-11-06 17:02:35]
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:55 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 13):
Frankly, I don't think the Chinese need to be shopping for a technology.

Dear Turbolet, I am not at all convinced that you are right.

It is one thing produce cheap and crappy cars for the domestic market, or to hand assemble low volume luxury cars with proper guidance. But it doesn't do it all if they want to play a major role on the export market, like the Koreans started some years back.

Then they need to be up to date on both mainstream car technology and efficient car production methods including world standard quality assurance.

For that they need a turn-around much like Skoda in your own country some fifteen years back in time.

Yes, I know that VW did that turn-around. The difference is that whatever the Chinese do, they want to do it themselves. Saab could provide substantial parts of that technology, partially by handing over GM technology for free.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 11):
Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 6):Source: http://www.swedish-automobile.nl/pdf...0.pdf
...would be allowed to stay on the web for more than a few nanoseconds.

And this PDF has been withdrawl from the web - at least, I cannot find it any longer. Saabs days are - unfortunately - very limited in number.

No, it is still there. But sometimes here at a.net, when quoting selected texts, then included URLs get "abbreviated" and consequently destroyed. That's what happened here. The link still works from your own reply #6.

But I tend to agree with you, Saab as we have known it before, is "game over". So much people has already left Saab in Trollhättan for a better or safer job, that even if by miracle an unlimited bag of (Chinese?) money happened to rain on them, then it would take ages to be back on previous schedule. And to think that the Chinese are aiming for building cars for export based on expensive, imported GM components, like Saab did - it will never happen.
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Polot
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:36 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
That's all fine. I don't think GM could object to Saab (and Cadillac) continuing to produce existing GM based Saabs in Sweden and Mexico, in the case of the 9-4X. Even if the Chinese own the Saab company, they would not have ability to transfer the GM technology to China. Saab after all is a subscriber of GM technology, nothing more. They do not own it.

The problem is GM has relationships with other Chinese brands, including selling old Saab platforms to BAIC and having a joint venture with SAIC. With China being such an important market for GM (they sold more cars there last year than in the US), GM is being careful not to miff its partners and possibly the Chinese government (BAIC and SAIC are both government owned, and the Chinese government still has not given approval to the Youngman/Pang Da/Saab deal) by allowing other brands get access to the technology at firesale prices.

Note the reason that GM is treading carefully, which everyone seems to be missing. From the article posted in reply 9:


“GM would not be able to support a change in the ownership of Saab which could negatively impact GM’s existing relationships in China or otherwise adversely affect GM’s interests worldwide,” GM spokesman Jim Cain said.

emphasis mine.

[Edited 2011-11-06 18:40:13]

[Edited 2011-11-06 18:40:48]
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:49 am

Automotive News reported yesterday that General Motors senior management has effectively killed a Chinese takeover of Saab - which will live Saab without any substantial form of financial support and "near death". GM has threatened to withhold vital parts from Saab if it goes forward with the deal with two Chinese domestic automakers. Furthermore, GM will end it's agreement to produce the Saab 9-4X CUV at a GM plant in Mexico.

From Automotive News - "GM controls preference shares in Saab and is a major supplier of vehicle components and must approve the Pang Da and Youngman takeover. The deal for Swedish automaker Saab will be revised after objections from GM, the CEO of Swedish Automobile said on Monday.

"We have to go back to the drawing board," Saab Automobile CEO Victor Muller said."


Source: www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...COPY/311079815/1131#ixzz1dAyPGnlw

It seems obvious to me that GM wants Saab to fail completely - and not be a competitor in the Chinese marketplace, in any way, shape, or form. So very sad - I am still mourning the death of Pontiac, and now Saab will disappear as well.
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sudden
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RE: Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:34 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Saab Brand Saved In Chinese Takeover Plan

To be honest with you all, I really wonder if this is saving, or just keep on kicking a dead horse.
When in doubt, flat out!

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