By on November 22, 2011

The last attempt at saving Saab failed when GM said it would not supply or license technology to Saab if it were 100% owned by PangDa and Youngman, scuttling the Chinese firms’ bid for outright control of the company. Now the two firms have sent a revised proposal to The General in hopes that they can provide safeguards for intellectual property, allowing them to purchase Saab without losing the link to GM. After all, both the 9-3 and 9-5 rely on GM technology and parts, while the 9-4X is wholly supplied by GM. Rachel Pang of PangDa tells

We have not discussed any changes with regard to ownership structure. We are concentrated on the GM issue… It’s about more commercial terms.  We want to meet them and have asked for a meeting. First we must give them time to review our proposal. We are waiting for GM’s response and then we will of course respect it.

Of course, our understanding is that “the GM issue” is the same as the ownership structure issue… and keep in mind, PangDa and Youngman are looking for a meeting, not an agreement from GM. Which means this could drag on a while… and wouldn’t you know it, it’s time for Saab to pay salaries again.

Victor Muller, who TTELA says “has increasingly fallen into the background” of negotiations, agrees that it could be a while, noting

GM will first need to digest the information gained from Saab. It is up to Youngman and Pang Da which they want to conduct the negotiations with GM

And while PangDa/Youngman are waiting to hear back from the RenCen, they’ve got to keep the cash flowing. Apparently Youngman injected some $3m into Saab this week, and PangDa could help out with wages, which must be paid at the end of this week. Which raises an interesting question: why are PangDa and Youngman continuing to inject cash into a company they may never be able to own? Surely not because GM has sent promising signals, as its last message was

We have not changed our point of view. We are not negotiating with the Chinese since our contracts are with Saab

When asked about this puzzling state of affairs, Rachel Pang gave an answer that definitely gains something in  the Google Translation

TT: Why do you continue to invest in Saab when you do not know if you can buy the company?

– A good question. I do not know what I should be on it at the moment, says Rachel Pang. (Original: En bra fråga. Jag vet inte vad jag ska vara på den i nuläget, säger Rachel Pang.)

I’m sure Ms Pang’s answer must have been more reasonable than this appears, but then, every time I dig back into the Saab story, I tend to not know what I should be on at that moment. A stiff drink? Painkillers? Some kind of exotic hallucinogen, synthesized from the pancreas of Amazonian salamanders? What could possibly make me understand the point of all this burning capital? At this point, I’m almost considering tucking into the barbiturate overdose-in-applesauce that Guy Lofalk is keeping warm for Saab.  This story is a killer.

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21 Comments on “Our Daily Saab: Hold On And Believe...”

  • avatar

    Let’s hope they get this resolved so they can sell 10 or 12K cars a year.

  • avatar

    Let’s hope there will be a bankruptcy soon, so we will stop hearing about them.

    • 0 avatar

      “Let’s hope there will be a bankruptcy soon, so we will stop hearing about them.”

      I’m with you; many automotive brands that had a lot more marketability than Saab currently does are on the ash heap of automotive history.

      Pretty telling outlook on how GM views Chinese respect for “intellectual property” when they won’t even consider a tecnology license!

    • 0 avatar

      Hush! This is what passes for entertainment in my life these days.

  • avatar

    Inexplicably, I saw what had to be a Saab rental car (it bore the telltale bar codes) in Pasadena yesterday. I have no idea where a rental fleet may have acquired a Saab–maybe the local dealer is dumping the rest of its stock in preparation for dropping Saab altogether?

    • 0 avatar

      You can rent ANYTHING in Los Angeles (I’m the guy who showed up at a friend’s wedding in the 80s in a Peugeot 505 Turbo sedan from Hertz).

      Turns out Midway Car Rentals (10 locations to serve you) features Saab:

      • 0 avatar

        Oddly enough, last time I rented a Saab was for a wedding in LA. I almost pulled the trigger on a red 68 Mustang convertible but ended up with a great deal on the covertible Saab.

      • 0 avatar

        What did you rent to get you back to the airport after the Peugeot died?

      • 0 avatar

        Oddly, a neighbor of mine owned a Peugeot 505. He got a picture of it in the local paper, when he and a couple buddies were pushing it a couple blocks to a repair shop. The reason the paper’s photographer thought it was newsworthy was the rear bumper sticker: “Friends don’t let friends drive Peugeots”.

    • 0 avatar

      I rented a 2010 Saab 9-5 in Detroit for a couple of days last month from National. Having never driven one I was curious to find out what it was all about before Saab officially becomes extinct.

      • 0 avatar

        seanx37: Remarkably, the Peugeot ran flawlessly for the 74 miles and six hours it was in my possession. It also had the most comfortable seats I’ve ever sat in, before or since. My wife still fondly remembers that car. She has no idea what horrors awaited anyone committing to more than an afternoon.

  • avatar

    i guess somewhere down the line da Generale had to bend, nobody can withstand mulla forever though.

    would middle kingdom saabs be just as safe?

  • avatar

    The quote is of course mistranslated, and that’s why it sounds confusing. There’s a missing “s” in one of the words.

    En bra fråga. Jag vet inte vad jag ska svara på den i nuläget, säger Rachel Pang.

    Which translates into:

    A good question. I don’t know how to answer that (question) at the moment, says Rachel Pang.

  • avatar

    I don’t think PangDa/Youngman have paid the money in for the wages yet. As you say, why would they dump funds into the company when they have no idea if the deal has gone through? I think yet again its just another delaying tactic to make the creditors feel that there still might be a deal might be about to happen (The moneys coming! The moneys coming!) & looking back you will see that PangDa/Youngman have form on promising money that then arrives late. (the funds for the Phoenix platform, promised to arrive by the 25th/09, turned up on the 13th/10.)
    I find it VERY interesting that Lofalk has flown out to the states for the negotiations. It looks to me like he wants to know exactly what is going on without having to hear it through the filter of Muller or the Chinese and he will be looking over their shoulders the whole time they are talking to the General. I think that if GM say at this meeting no deal (or the deal that they want.) is ever going to happen with PangDa/Youngman, Mr Lofalk will decide its Goodnight Re-Organisation, Goodnight Trollhatten.

  • avatar

    Great pic on for the article, BTW.

  • avatar

    Yesterday, I saw a 9-4X in the parking lot of my suburban Ohio grocery store. I didn’t even know it ever actually went on sale. I’ve seen a handful of new 9-5s, too.

    Who’s buying these things? Saab fans have to know about the company’s struggles; A friend who loved his ’00 9-3 was all set to buy a new(er) one until GM went under and he realized that owning a car that might not have parts availability or any resale was an awful idea. I liked his car enough when I drove it that I toyed with getting a used one for awhile…not anymore.

    They’re interesting cars, but not interesting enough to be worth the risk. Have fun with the depreciation.

  • avatar

    Why are Pang Da and Youngman still interested in Saab? Well, they want to be taken seriously as Chinese car companies before Beijing decides it has already enough of those in its “world domination” portfolio. The Swedes are reportedly sending their own little mission to GM. CEO Victor Muller’s task is to stop the financial hemorrhage SWAN (Saab holding co.) turned out to be for him and his investors. Question is what part of GM’s “simply can’t have” the Chinese don’t understand.

    According to Dagens Industri, the latest offer to GM included legal guarantees regarding the technology rights owned by GM, money offer to be able to use the technology, agreements about which volumes Saab could produce and how many years the technology licenses would be used. GM would not confirm that it had received such an offer.

    “We have communicated with Saab, but I will not make any further comments on that,” James cain told DI. Mr. Cain also made it clear that as long as the Chinese want to buy all the shares in Saab, GM will not supply technology. “Let me be clear. Saab and Youngman can do whatever they sseem fit for the company. But if there is a one hundred percent takeover of Saab, it will happen without the vehicles we supply, 9-4X, and without GM’s technology.” It can’t get any clearer than that. Either the Chinese realize that they can’t get full control over Saab, or they have to make Saab cars without GM technology or they can give up on trying to acquire Saab.

    • 0 avatar

      Must be a grapevine rooted in hope and dreams, cause I am hearing rumors that Pang Da will strike a deal with GM by this coming Friday.

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