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.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Youngman offer includes continued production in Trollhättan

When Saab filed for bankruptcy on December 19th, Chinese Youngman was the first company to express interest in buying the Saab bankruptcy estate. To Swedish news agency TT, CEO of Youngman Automotive Rachel Pang, says that the proposal they presented to the bankruptcy administrators before Christmas includes continued production in Trollhättan.

"With our proposal we intend to keep the production in Trollhättan. Simultaneously we will also have manufacturing facilities in China," Rachel Pang told TT according to TTELA.

Pang also emphasized that Youngman believes in the Saab brand.

"Our business is about building Saab models. We want to keep the brand Saab."

Earlier it has been reported that Youngman might want to continue producing the Saab 9-3 which mostly use Saab's own technology, and possible buy engines from Fiat.

Youngman and Rachel Pang will shortly be back in Sweden to meet the administrators.

Youngman will however probably have to compete with offers from Indian and Turkish companies, and also other Chinese companies. Earlier Chinese Dongfeng has been mentioned, but now even Chinese BAIC and SAIC are mentioned to be interested in the Saab assets. We also know that Turkish Brightwell Holdings is interested in acquiring Saab.

To just-auto Brightwell Holdings partner Zamier Ahmed said that Brightwell is interested in Saab in its entirety, but that it could move a substantial part of the Swedish manufacturer's supply chain out of Europe, should its bid be accepted. The Turkish company claims that it has had "cordial discussions" with GM and that GM will not object to Saab continue using GM technology should Brightwell become owner of Saab. GM does however say that they are not currently in discussion with any parties concerning a continued supply of technology to Saab.

Another hard competitor for the Saab assets may be Indian Mahindra & Mahindra. The company's vice-chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra said to The Economic Times India that they would not comment on any rumors that they are interested in Saab, but they are open to acquisitions.

"We would not like to comment on speculations. We are, however, open to acquisitions. M&A has to be an enabler of our strategy. If the strategy is to be global and world-class, we should look at both organic and inorganic ways. We are eyeing acquisitions in the automotive side."

Even though Saab is a fairly unknown brand in India, the name Saab could actually be a great brand name in the Indian market. Here is what IBNLive India writes about the name Saab:

"Saab is an Urdu word with terrific connotations in South Asia. It’s a term of endearment that crops up often in conversations. Bhai Saab, Major Saab, Laat Saab and Memsaab are commonly used appellations. To millions of Hindustanis, the expression ‘Saala main toh Saab ban gaya’ means reaching a stratospheric social status-almost on par with a knighthood. Therefore, milking the linguistic potential of Saab is clearly the roadmap for the struggling brand."

So get ready for another week of the Saab bankruptcy saga!