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, May 23, 2012

Youngman out, National Electric Vehicle Sweden in?

And then there were one (or two, or three?). Reports in Swedish media say that Chinese Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile now has been (or has willingly) dropped out of the race to buy the Saab bankruptcy estate.

Sources say that the reason for the Youngman drop out is uncertainty about payments from Youngman since all major payments needs Government approval. Youngman then follows Turkish Brightwell Holdings which dropped out in February.

This development would mean that we now are left with only mystery bidders. Indian Mahindra, which many times has been mentioned as a bidder, has never confirmed placing a bid on Saab within the final deadline. In addition, there might be one or two other bidders. One of these a consortium interested in starting electric car production.

On Monday the company National Electric Vehicle Sweden was registered in Sweden. The purpose of the company is "development of electric vehicles and vehicle components and related business." Member of the board of this new companys is among others Karl-Erling Trogen, a former CEO of Volvo Trucks.

"It's not just about electric cars, but also about larger volumes of hybrid cars related to a long term development in electric cars," a source said.

It is suggested that the consortium no longer includes Panasonic, but now a Chinese car maker, which could be BAIC, a Chinese battery maker and Swedish stakeholders.

But why shouldn't also this Chinese consortium run into problems with getting payments approved just like Youngman? Well, according to Swedish Radio P4 Väst, the consortium has its financing from outside China. Which of course also points to other stakeholders in he consortium besides Chinese companies.

If this consortium wins the battle, then it is bye bye to the Saab we know. It's said that they will probably not want the Saab Parts company, which would mean that they are not interested in the Saab cars presently on the roads. Maybe not even the Saab brand name.