Swedish automaker Saab has found its white knight – or more accurately several of them – securing at least its near-term survival.
The maker has lined up a new alliance with ambitious Chinese manufacturer Hawtai Automotive Group, while also securing some much-needed cash in the form of a loan from the Gemini Investment Fund. Meanwhile, Saab officials say they anticipate a further investment will follow from Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov.
The impact of the various deals will be significant for cash-starved Saab, both in the short and long-term. The initial financial infusion – 180 million Euros, or $266 million – should permit Saab to quickly re-open the headquarters assembly plant, in Trollhattan, Sweden, that was shuttered on March 29th due to a boycott by unpaid suppliers.
The alliance will also provide a manufacturing base for Saab in China, which the company hopes will significantly expand its presence in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive market.
Longer-term, Saab Chairman Victor Muller told TheDetroitBureau.com, Saab may now be able to fund the development of some much-desired new product programs, including a small luxury car tentatively named the 9-2, and possibly a large SUV, among other vehicle options.