IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday notes from the media

Updated with the second to last paragraph from SvD
Updated with last paragraph from Reuters

Yesterday Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri reported that their sources said that Saab was in discussion with two different Chinese companies to solve the long-term funding of Saab. Today Reuters can report that the President of BAIC says that they are not in discussion with Saab at the present time:
A top executive at Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) said on Wednesday the Chinese state auto group was not currently in talks to invest in ailing Swedish car brand Saab, with which it shares some vehicle technology. 
"It's two separate companies, but we have a very good relationship," BAIC President Wang Dazong told Reuters at an auto industry conference in Shanghai.
 "But as always if there was a really good opportunity we have an open mind," he said, adding that he had not been approached so far about investing in Saab, which is owned by the Dutch group Spyker.

So maybe we can forget BAIC in this regard for the time being.

The short-term funding solution regarding the sale of Saab's properties is moving forward, although slowly. Dagens Industri writes that at the moment no one, neither Saab, Antonov nor the National Debt Office, wants to make any comments on the progress. But they also write that the NDO had a meeting earlier today where Saab was the issue.

Also in Dagens Industri is a article about the sale of Saab cars in Sweden the past weeks. According to the CEO of the Saab dealer association, the sales have been halved the last weeks:
- It's mainly because people are not certain when they can get their new car if they buy a new car today. We expect most of them to come back when things are sorted out, but at the moment the orders are almost halved, he says.

Let's hope this Easter will mark a new beginning for everybody involved with Saab!

Update I: Svenska Dagbladet reports that the reason that Saab's properties still aren't sold, is because Vladimir Antonov is not the only buyer. There are also at least one more player involved in the purchase of Saab's properties. Svenska Dagbladet also confirms earlier reports that in addition, Saab is in negotiations with Chinese companies (not BAIC) about part ownership, technology sharing and Saab production in China.

Update II: In an interview with Reuters published in Victor Muller has confirmed that Saab is in negotiation with a wide range of Chinese automakers about a tie-up to help Saab overcome the long-term financing challenge. He also said that for a short-term solution they are now waiting for the European Investment Bank's acceptance to sell the properties. A Swedish bank is ready to transfer the first installment of the payment to Saab.