By on May 2, 2011

Saab and the Chinese automaker Hawtai will announce “an exciting strategic partnership between both parties” at a press conference scheduled for tomorrow, reports MarketWatch. According to Saab/Spyker CEO Victor Muller,

the deal involves “investing in Spyker.”

Hawtai was previously a joint venture partner of Hyundai, and had been approached by Chrysler as a possible partner. The firm reportedly has an annual production capacity of 350k vehicles, 450k automatic transmissions and 300k (Euro IV and V-compliant) diesel engines built under license from VM Motori. The B11 (above) is the firm’s first own-brand sedan, although over the next three years the firm has “plans to launch six more diesel or diesel-electric hybrid passenger cars.” According to chinaautoweb, Hawtai’s gamble on its giant diesel engine plant, the largest and most sophisticated in Asia, may not be panning out as diesel availability has been an issue in the Chinese market, due to high demand from the trucking industry.


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13 Comments on “Breaking: Saab To Announce Deal With Hawtai Motors Tomorrow...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    May I suggest a celebratory dinner of kroppkaka and mianjin hongshao paigu for everyone on Saabs United? (Uniting Sweden and Shandong Province where Hawtai Motors is located.)

  • avatar

    If there is a Saab Death Watch, it should continue.

  • avatar

    Does it mean future SAABs will be based on Hawtai platforms?

  • avatar

    Apparently when Victor Muller says “tenacious”, he is not kidding.

    • 0 avatar

      In areas outside of TTAC, that’s generally considered a good thing. Here, however, companies are apparently supposed to shoot themselves in the head at the first sign of trouble, in order to save stress on their employees.

      I’m skeptical about the Chinese getting involved from a quality standpoint, but taking this deal instead of the Russian option probably involves a much lower chance of Mr. Muller finding fingers in his mailbox.

      Just had my 9-5 at the dealer for CPO warranty service at 95k – direct ignition cassette. They said the spark plugs were 60 bucks (turns out that’s the real street price, huh) but then didn’t charge me for them anyway.

      So, I guess that Hawtai’s gonna end up paying for my spark plugs. Thanks, guys!

  • avatar

    Ed, just curious, with all of the recent review releases now in the press, will TTAC also be reviewing the Saab 9-4X? Especially in comparison to its Cadillac SRX relative?

  • avatar

    So if their diesel plant is sitting largely unused because of a lack of domestic demand is the plan to sell more diesels from the plant by putting them in euro market Saabs? Actually makes decent sense-they’ve invested a ton of money on a Euro emissions compliant engine design and plant but have nobody to sell it to.

    On the other hand Hawtai isn’t exactly a big time Chinese auto maker either.

  • avatar

    Even if Hawtai buy SAAB outright, I still fear for SAAB’s future. SAAB has very little engineering capability of it’s own and Hawtai is not making anything that could really sell in the west. When SAIC bought MG they effectively managed to get the UK R&D team and paired this up with their already established teams in China. This is not the same and unlike MG, SAAB is competeting in the premium sector of the market not the Kia end. I really fear for SAAB.

  • avatar

    It looks like a Bentley sexually assaulted a Hyundai and because the Hyundai was a conservative – she went ahead and had the baby rather than just paying for the surgery to eliminate it.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Hawtai and SAAB. SAABs and hawtie. Can a reprise of the Swedish Bikini Team happen?

  • avatar

    I think SAAB has a lot of engineering brain power in some very important fields- and they have a highly flexible platform of their own that they want to sell to other companies. They have a highly modern plant in Trollhattan with a capacity of, say, 150.000+ cars per annum. What they don’t have is adequately modern diesel engines for their 9-5 (and coming 9-3) model, especially a six-cylinder.
    They also could need some of Hawtais production capacity in China.
    All in all, this seems a very reasonable deal – and Hawtai will own not more than 29,9% of SAAB, not 100% (of Volvo) like Geely.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    It might just work out well.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and surmise that Hawtai takes the decision to “go ahead” with the baby Saab (was it going to be the 9-2?) on the basis of their smallest car pan (whatever that might be). Perhaps CKD kits assembled in Sweden from some Chinese components, and a four cylinder diesel option.

    It couldn’t be any worse than the Saabaru that I saw on the highway the other day.

    • 0 avatar

      The Saabaru was actually a pretty good deal used (or even new). The top end ones are much cheaper than WRXs, because people don’t think of them as being WRXs, and the interiors and seats are a lot better. You could get a used WRX for $20,000 or a used 9-2x for $12,000…

      Saabs are awesome to buy used – myself a case in point, getting $16k in used car for $9k. But that’s not so hot for the brand, especially since I’ve gotten about $1k of that money back in CPO warranty work…

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