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, July 1, 2011

"They are tough businessmen"

Yesterday Sweden's Minister of Enterprise, Maud Olofsson, met with representatives from China's National Development and Reform Council (NDRC), which is China's top economic planning body, and discussed the planned deal between Saab and Chinese Youngman and Pang Da. Present on the first part of the meeting was also Saab's CEO Victor Muller.

Minister Olofsson told Swedish Radio after the meeting that the Chinese "were tough business men".

Olofsson and the Ministry informed the Chinese delegation on the Swedish Government's view of Saab and Swedish car industry.

"They still see challenges in this deal. It was important for me to give them an overview on how we look at  Saab and future cooperation. They were satisfied with the cooperation between Volvo and Geely. For Saab it's a somewhat different story because we are in a critical situation," Olofsson told Swedish radio after the meeting.

An approval from the  NDRC on the deal between Saab and the Chinese companies will be decisive to close the deal. Maud Olofsson would not speculate on the outcome.
"It is too early to say, it was our first meeting and we had the opportunity to inform each other."

When asked if she got the impression that the Chinese were listening to her views, Olofsson said "Yes, we had a very good dialogue and have good experience from discussions with Volvo and Geely. But one should remember that they are tough businessmen and they are hard in their demands."

Aftonbladet writes that after the meeting, one group of the Chinese ate dinner with the Minister, and another group ate dinner with Victor Muller and Vladimir Antonov. In other words, the Chinese know that the key to Saab's short-term survival is Antonov.