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.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Latest news made in China....., the USA and Sweden

Great Wall Motors, which was believed to be Saab's most likely new partner in China, now suddenly seem a less likely partner after Great Wall yesterday denied that they were in talks with Saab and Spyker. According to The Detroit News Shang Yuguia spokesman for Great Wall Motor Co. said:

"To be honest, no. We have not even been in contact. I asked my boss about this and he says no."

At the same time Hawtai says that they still talk to Saab and still believes in a cooperation:

"Hawtai continues discussions with Spyker and our review of cooperation options with Saab remains a top priority. Saab needs help and we strongly believe we are the best partner in this regard."

But now instead Jinhua Youngman Vehicle is mentioned as a possible partner. Svenska Dagbladet writes that they have seen an email correspondence between Invest Sweden's man in China, Eddie Chen, and the CEO of Invest Sweden Per-Erik Sandlund from 19 April. (Invest Sweden is the official investment promotion agency of Sweden and is placed under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)

In this email Chen writes that Youngman has called several times and expressed their interest in Saab. Furthermore, Youngman was suggesting that they were ready to invest EUR 200 million to EUR 300 million in Saab. This was supposed to be an initial investment. One reason that Spyker and Saab instead chose Hawtai, is supposed to be because there were some uncertainty around Youngman's financial state.

But Zheng Jianyou, an official in Youngman's publicity department, would today not confirm that they are in talks with Saab:

"I have not heard of this. If it is true, it's possible some of the top leaders may know but would not tell anyone else."

In another email from a few weeks back, Invest Sweden also wrote that BAIC, which in 2009 bought the right to the previous generation Saab 9-5 and the pre-2004 Saab 9-3,  was interested in Saab. But now in a statement BAIC says that their relationship with Saab is still a good one and that it has not soured like suggested in the press, but they are presently not in negotiations with Saab:

"They are just guessing. I just want to say we have quite good cooperation with Saab."

But Hu Enping, director of public relations at BAIC, said that his bosses had denied any knowledge of further financing talks with Saab.

At the moment there seems to be more than enough Chinese car companies to chose from when speculating in who Saab is talking to. But I guess we'll just have to sit back patiently and wait. We have become good at waiting, haven't we? :)