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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hawtai to produce Saab 9-3 from 2013

According to an article in Dagens Industri web edition, Hawtai Motor, the Chinese company that Saab enters into a strategic partnership with, will start to produce the new Saab 9-3 in 2013. These cars will be produced for the Chinese market and will not be exported.

In the first step of the partnership Hawtai will help Saab distribute and sell Saab cars in China through their network. Step two will a be joint-venture between Saab and Hawtai to manufacture Saab cars in China. As mention these Saab cars will be for the Chinese market. The Saab cars produced in Trollhättan Sweden will be destined for the rest of the world.

As reported earlier today, part of the deal is also a share investment and a convertible loan from Hawtai to Saab. The first payment from Hawtai to Saab is expected within 10 days. The first payment will probably be the loan or parts of the loan. The investment must be approved by the Swedish National Debt Office, Chinese authorities and the European Investment Bank (EIB). When Saab tried to sell its properties to raise funds last month, the EIB stopped the deal. But Victor Muller does not expect any objections from the EIB this time. Muller expects the investment to be approved within 6 to 12 weeks and then the full amount will be at Saab's disposal.

With the investment and loan from Hawtai and the short-term loan from Gemini and the latest loan payment drawn from the EIB, Saab now has increased the funding with EUR 209 million. Victor Muller expects that this will be sufficient to secure Saab's funding needs for the short- and medium-term. To Swedish Television SVT Victor Muller estimates that this money will keep Saab going up to one year. By then Saab will hopefully be close to profitability.

Saab now aims at restarting production next week.