Saab's Choice: Become Russian Or Chinese

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
saab s choice become russian or chinese

Saab will either be owned by Russians or Chinese. That’s the way it looks today. Which is no guarantee that it will look the same on Monday.

Yesterday, GM and the Swedish Government gave their nods to a very tentative deal that would allow Vladimir A. Antonov to invest 30 million euros in Spyker in return for a 29.9 percent share. This deal was immediately hailed as “the first good news” at Saabsunited. But the deal is far from done and fraught with nasty details.

GM spokesman James Cain told the New York Times that the matter is “contingent on Saab meeting various commitments.” According to Cain, “Saab has homework they have to do with other parties to create the conditions under which we can move forward.” In a statement, GM demands “certain specific actions to be taken by Saab which have not yet been completed, as well as certain formal consents, approvals and waivers which Saab has not yet obtained.”

Uh-oh. That homework might be demanding. Instead of consents, approvals and waivers, Spyker produced other suitors.

A source told Reuters that Saab is in talks with Chinese automakers Great Wall Motor , China Youngman, and Jiangsu Yueda over a potential investment deal. “The negotiations are very far advanced and should produce results over the weekend,” the source said.

At today’s quarterly (negative) results meeting, Spyker confirmed that they “have opened up alternative routes to fund the company mid- and short-term including but not limited to discussions with Chinese car manufacturers, the discussions with some of which had already been ongoing for several months. We are hopeful that these discussions will result in a solution very shortly so we can resume production.”

It is unclear whether the three Chinese companies are acting jointly or separately. Great Wall has been very active in its quest to enter the European market. Having a European brand with existing certifications and dealer networks would smooth a Chinese entry into Europe immensely.

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5 of 12 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 30, 2011

    I don't believe it's going to happen. This will be a business decision, not an emotional choice. There's a reason Saab is being passed around like a cheap date, and it's not because it's profitable.

    • See 2 previous
    • Fred diesel Fred diesel on May 01, 2011

      @ExPatBrit So I take it youve never been in or driven a Saab two-stroke or anything more recent? Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder. And Id bet the Russians are kicking themselves for letting the Chinese get Saabs tooling.

  • Daniel Daniel on May 02, 2011

    Why doesn't Tata Motors make a move on this one?

  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing with leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.
  • Lou_BC I'm not too picky about gloves. If I'm concerned about heavy oil or grease contamination, I'll donn nitrile gloves. Heavier work and I'll use "old school" leather gloves, fake leather, synthetic or whatever is available.
  • Dusterdude Getting the popcorn ready . May be a good plan for strikers to make sure they own good winter jackets for future pickets .