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.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Swedish TV interview with Victor Muller from Beijing

Swedish TV has made an exclusive interview with Victor Muller from Beijing. To watch the interview following this link. The interview is in English and starts one minute into the clip. Unfortunately the interview is edited together with a report and can therefore be a bit tricky to understand for those who don't understand Swedish.

Here is a translation of the SVT article on the interview:

SVT interview with Victor Muller in Beijing
- We did not invite to a big press conference this time in view of what happened last time. How embarrassing! 
Saab's chairman Victor Muller said this to Niklas Sjögren , SVT's correspondent in Beijing, just after the agreement between Saab and Pang Da became public.

Saab and Hawtai had to terminate their deal just shortly after it was presented with great pomp and circumstance here in Beijing. Victor Muller confirms to SVT that it was problems with obtaining necessary permits from the Chinese government that led to the deal was terminated. 

Felt sorry 
- I was quite sad when Hawtai afterwards said that it was due to commercial reasons, because that was simply not true, says Victor Muller, but also adds that there is no bitterness between Saab and Hawtai today. Even Saab's new deal with Pang Da can fall apart if the Chinese government does not give it the green light. But in the case of Pang Da buying cars from Saab, which gives Saab EUR 30 million, no approval is needed according to Victor Muller.

Can be forced to repay 
But the agreement also says that Pang Da in a second stage shall become part owner of Saab's parent company Spyker by buying 24 percent of the shares for EUR 65 million

This requires approval from both the Swedish government, the Chinese government, the European Investment Bank and GM. 

If any of these stakeholders say 'no', the deal may be terminated and Saab have to pay back the money to Pang Da. 

- That's right. But if the worst thing happens we have at least about six months left before we have to repay the money to Pang Da. We will not have to repay the money immediately, Muller says. 

SVT: When will the production in Trollhättan restart? 

- I think we can be up and running within a week. It may take a little longer, says Muller. 

According to Muller, the agreement with Pang Da is better than the one with Hawtai because it gives Saab more time as the first part, that is Pang Da's purchase of 1,300 Saab cars for EUR 30 million, does not require approval from the Chinese government.

- Now we have plenty of time to look for the third company which shall manufacture Saab cars in China in the future together with Saab and Pang Da, says Muller.