By on October 12, 2011

Pangda’s Chairman Pang Qinghua was not in Stockholm as reported. He was in Chengdu. At least today. As you can see above, he smiled into TTAC’s camera. At the sidelines of the conference, Chairman Pang had told Fang Yan of Reuters:

“Now that it’s in bankruptcy protection, all previous pacts are invalid. It’s up to the court to decide. It can also find a new partner.”

Talking to Fang Yan again, Pang qualified the statement:

“What I meant was that during restructuring, the court is authorised to adapt any restructuring plans, including vetoing previous agreements. It’s up to the one handling the reorganisation to decide whether previous agreements are valid or not. I am sticking to the commitment. Yes, I am confident about it.”

Saab calls the initial comments a “misunderstanding,” and Victor Muller apparently texted Reuters to say the deal with both PangDa and Youngman are “on track.” But, as Bertel reported yesterday, the real issue is whether or not Saab has any intellectual property to bring to the table. If not, the Chinese government will not approve the deal, regardless of how optimistic Muller, Pang, or the Swedish bankruptcy administrator who controls Saab’s fate are. The furor over Pang’s comments have provided a temporary smokescreen for that issue, but it won’t last…

Apparently Youngman hasn’t even submitted an application to the Chinese government yet, as Pang Qinghua tells Reuters

“Youngman’s Pang Qingnian is the one that is supposed to send the application to the NDRC. As far as I know, he is soliciting opinions among industry experts regarding the deal. They are not done with it yet. As for the cash injection (into Saab), I can do that only after the government approves the deal.”

In addition, wild swings in the value of Saab’s stock is wreaking havoc on negotiations with Pang Da and Youngman, as the value of their acquisitions literally changes with the news. As I noted back in July, their $365m investment was supposed to earn them 51 percent of a company that had a market cap of $68m. And now Saab confirms to Reuters that “negotiations are ongoing” due to the fluctuating value of their proposed investment. But one thing is certain: Saab has a remote chance of getting Chinese partners, but it’s not about to be bought outright. Per Reuters

Pang, asked later if Pangda would be interested in a takeover of Saab assets once bankruptcy protection ended, said: “I won’t. My goal is clear. That is, I, along with my partner, will take over the brand and sell the cars in China.

“I don’t even want to sell it globally. I want to sell Saab in China, maybe some neighbouring countries at the most.”

In short, Saab’s rescuers are some hesitant heroes, the rescue deal hasn’t been submitted for Chinese government approval, and it will be rejected when it is. Saab is dead, it just doesn’t know it yet. Hopefully its Swedish administrator sees the light soon and ends the needlessly prolonged agony.

Reuters, which rarely dispenses free advice, writes:

“Gaining Chinese government clearance could be difficult because Beijing follows a strict and price-sensitive policy when it comes to overseas acquisitions.”

Now just because we have an on-scene photograph doesn’t have to mean that you are being deprived of Swedish Chef videos:

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8 Comments on “Our Daily Saab: False Dawn...”

  • avatar

    “I don’t even want to sell it globally. I want to sell Saab in China, maybe some neighbouring countries at the most.”

    So will anyone re-import a SAAB from China?

  • avatar

    It really doesn’t matter too much at this stage if PangDa are in or out. If Youngmans money doesn’t arrive soon, the whole house of cards will collapse anyway. And that itself is only a Band-Aid. There is no money for new product & the existing product no one wants to buy (in Europe at least.). A lot of people in Sweden are saying that if the cash isn’t in the bank on Friday morning that will be the day Loflak draws this sorry saga to an end.

    P.S. Where’s the Swedish Chef video?

    Ahh I spoke to soon, there it is.

  • avatar

    It won’t happen. If that is an indication, in a lengthy presentation today, Pang mentioned just about any car brand his dealership handles, except Saab.

    • 0 avatar

      Would you be interested in the original planning that Saab, Youngman and Pang Da filed with the Swedish Court? I found it on their website. And I believe it gives some nice insights.

      Send me an e-mail and I will reply to you.

  • avatar

    Meanwhile, the amateur spinmeisters at Saabsunited blast “Western Reporting Agencies” for misleading reporting: “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.” The misleaders are at Saabsunited.

    Fang Yan of Reuters is a native Chinese and an ace automotive reporter. She doesn’t make mistakes and is extremely fair. Especially weird is that these allegations are made, and then Google Translate is used to go through . Sohu is China’s AOL and is not known as the pinnacle of reporting. Using Google translate on Chinese text is suicide.

    • 0 avatar

      Somewhere between TTAC’s “Burn baby burn!” coverage and SU’s “The sun will come out tomorrow…” coverage is the reality of what’s going on.

      Nearly as soon as word spread about the Pa Dang statements, this popped up on Reuters:

  • avatar

    Is this latest post from the internet correct? If so, this little fighting outfit is pretty amazing, regardless of how hopeless their business plan may be…

    Chinese Youngman is on Wednesday has paid about 100 million to Saab Automobile. That said newspaper Dagens Industri, DI, late that evening. Thus, wages for October is paid to the employees. Related Payment shall be made on Wednesday and is a small part of the 640 million Chinese people who would put up with the bridge financing in anticipation of the total investment of 2.2 billion together with Pang Da. The safety of money is a license to Saab’s new base of the 9-3 model [Phoenix platform I think]. Youngman may now take advantage of a defined part of the technology, writes DI. The 100 million is welcome when the government wage guarantee expires on October 21. The money will be enough until the Chinese authorities are ready to trial in November.

    Also according to TT via DI:

    DI also say that there is now a new plan to save Saab, according to TT, and that Victor Muller – Saab CEO – during the meetings that took place in Stockholm made it clear to the Chinese that Saab does not need 640 million, but well 100 million to pay salaries. “We met with Pang Da and Youngman as late as on Tuesday and everything is proceeding according to plan. The cooperation continues and there is no problem with it. Gunilla Gustavs noted.

  • avatar

    If it is correct that some Youngman money has now arrived, this whole insane charade could now drag on for another month.

    Unless of course, Youngman know that the NRDC will not grant approval & have dived in quick to grab the PhoeniX IP at a bargain basement price…

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