By on October 11, 2011

The Chengdu meeting might ruin the appetite of the Saab faithful. Saab wasn’t a topic during the proceedings, although Volvo was mentioned a lot. On the sidelines of the conference however, death sentences to Saab where handed out by the truckload.

Jim Holder, Editor of the U.K. magazine AutoCar is at the meeting. He scooped me by learning from a highly reliable source:

“A last-minute rescue deal to save Saab is virtually certain to be blocked by the Chinese government, meaning the company is almost certain to be declared bankrupt – possibly as soon as later today.

Autocar has learned that the Chinese government is unlikely to ratify any investment or takeover of Saab as the sale does not include the acquisition of any new intellectual property rights. Former Saab owner GM already has a deal with its Chinese partner firm SAIC for the Epsilon platform used by Saab.”

Holder didn’t name the source and did not even say that he heard it in Chengdu. But that’s where he is, and the conference is teeming with officials of various Chinese ministries and the NDRC. We doubted in May that “GM will alienate SAIC in order to save Saab.”

Reuters has its ace China correspondent Fang Yang at the conference, and she heard today from BAIC Chairman Xu Heyi that his company has no interest in having any part in any Saab rescue.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that “the administrator in charge of Saab‘s restructuring under court protection could pull the plug on the process as early as Tuesday, paving the way for declaring the carmaker bankrupt.”

 

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22 Comments on “Our Daily Saab: Possibly Last Supper...”


  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    The Swedish press are reporting that Muller, PangDa, Youngman and Mr Loflak have been in an emergency meeting all afternoon. Muller has come out and said that Saab/SWAN have no intent on replacing Loflak so I’m guessing he’s either been read the riot act or at this stage knows that its pointless.

    I would imagine that this will go on long into the night but the lights could finally be going out in Trollhatten.

  • avatar

    Chengdu?

    More like Cheng don’t.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    So unless the Chinese get the IP no money for SAAB.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this houre.

    -Why I haue not another teare to shed:
    Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
    And would vsurpe vpon my watry eyes,
    And make them blinde with tributarie teares.

  • avatar

    I have dreamed of Pre-GM (and the TurboX) Saabs for years but could never bring myself to buy one. I always regret skipping out on a reasonable deal for a Viggen, but it was not meant to be.

    Its too bad to see it go, but whats left to save?

  • avatar
    GS650G

    The fact the Chinese are willing to pay for the IP rights of SAAB rather than just appropriate and dare them to sue shows progress. Not for SAAB, but for rule of law.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Why would a company rescue SAAB now, when they will be able to buy its assets for 5 cents on the dollar in a few months?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Poor Saab. They’ve walked the green mile at least a half-a-dozen times in the last couple of months and been strapped to the chair. There has even been the call, “roll on one,” a couple of times to have the phone ring, and send them back to the cell.

    I think the inevitable is about played out, and I don’t see no governors phone calls coming on this walk down the green mile. “Roll on one.”

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    I just picked up my 3rd Saab 9-5 I owned two 2000 Aero’s on lease, went AMG then wanted manual transmission with V8 in GM cars.

    This 2000 base is the nicest riding, most well equipped, and the least expensive to repair luxury car for the $3-5,000. Even though I didn’t. Pay half that for this fixer-upper. And it gets close to 40 mpg on the highway and I have not had it in for alignment yet.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Saab Story. Why is Saab such a lame duck? They have 2 new fully developed cars in the most important near luxury products. 9-5 sedan & wagon and the 9-4X. The 9-3 needs work. Why won’t someone pick them up?

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Well, if you know someone who could, I’m sure they’ll be glad to hear from you! :)

      I suppose it’s because they don’t sell many cars, and have stopped production. Once they stopped production their chances of surviving really went down the drain, because they’re not a ‘currently running’ company anymore. I suppose it’s like a car that doesn’t run. Even if it runs poorly, if you can say in your ad “it runs”, it’s got much better chance of finding buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      jeff_vader

      Because within the sector they have traditionally sold to (urban, middle class, professional, BMW buyers basically) the market place has made a decision.
      “That Swedish design thing you’ve got going on is nice but I think I’ll stick to my BMW/Audi/Merc thanks. That way my neighbours can see that I’m a success and the recession isn’t effecting me,”

      In Europe at least, the market has descended into a cloud of diesel powered grey German made conformity. I’m fairly new to this site but as pointed out here on more than a couple of occasions there is one simple plain truth out there;

      There are too many brands, making too many cars, for too few customers.

      This is the massive elephant in the room that no one in the motor industry wants to see. Mullers massive under-estimation of what it would take to save Saab has not helped but in current market place Saab may well be the first worldwide brand to go but they will not be the last.
      A lot of CEOs will be nervously checking their balance sheets this morning.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    “possibly as soon as later today”

    So, what happened? It is 10:30 pm in Sweden. Any further updates?

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Pay no attention to SAAB’s claims of not being dead yet. Throw’em on the cart.

  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    Sections of the Swedish media are reporting this morning that PangDa have walked.

    According to sources at the same conference where the Autocar article was sourced, PangDa’s chairman, Pang Qinghua, is saying that Saab/SWAN broke the terms of their agreement when they went into Re-Organisation without full consultation with them.

    Far more worryingly he is also saying that all the documentation for the deal has NOT yet been handed into the NRDC.

    To keep the Monty Python/Last Supper references it looks like the main course is on the way and it would appear to be
    …..the Salmon Moose

  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    Everything in that last post of mine has now been denied by both PangDa & Saab/SWAN.

    In a statement released on Reuters by both Saab & PangDa it was down to a “mis-translation & a mis-understanding”. There is no plan to withdraw and the documents have been filed.

    WTF??????

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    More like the used car phrase “Ran When Parked.” We all know how most of those opportunities work out.

  • avatar
    DaveDFW

    Yesterday’s reports are today being dismissed as “translation errors.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/12/china-auto-saab-idUSL3E7LC16120111012


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