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Posts Tagged ‘Saab Sale’

Spyker Has Big Plans – in China

The rise of the Phoenix?

by on Aug.27, 2012

The Spyker D8 P2P concept - photo courtesy Autoblog.

Even as it moves ahead with a court suit seeking $3 billion from General Motors, Dutch-based Spyker Cars sees a bright future – in China.

Spyker – which ultimately lost its bid to save the struggling Swedish carmaker, Saab – is firming up its ties with China’s Zhejiang Lotus Youngman.  Youngman was one of several Chinese automakers that had hoped to partner with Saab before it was forced to liquidate late last year.

If it’s difficult to keep up with all the players, here’s the scorecard:

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Spyker was a small Dutch supercar company run by entrepreneur Victor Muller.  In a bold – some would say ill-conceived – move, Spyker purchased Saab from General Motors in early 2010.  But the bid was severely underfunded and by March 2011, Saab’s unpaid suppliers began to boycott the firm.  That triggered a shutdown of the maker’s Trollhattan assembly plant and a cascading series of setbacks.

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Saab Story with a Happy Ending?

New owners hoping to get rights to Saab name.

by on Jun.12, 2012

There are many questions yet unanswered, including whether the new Saab owners will resume production at the Trollhattan assembly plant.

Those hoping to save insolvent Swedish automaker Saab have gotten some electrifying news.  The court administrators overseeing the company’s bankruptcy have given the green light to a Japanese-Chinese consortium that appears to focus on clean energy to buy the remaining Saab assets for a reported figure of around $250 million.

The one remaining obstacle is whether they will also get the right to the Saab name itself and the brand’s logo, which belong to defense firm Saab AB and truck manufacturer Scania AB.

What’s also uncertain is what the new owner, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB has in mind for Saab.  The firm was only recently registered in Sweden and is actually a joint venture owned by Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., with a 51% stake, and Japan’s Sun Investment LLC.

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The Chinese company has, until now, been focused on biomass power plants and related projects for China.  Japan’s Sun has been funding high-tech environmental and sustainable energy programs.  Neither firm appears to have any past connection to the auto industry.

Among the questions yet to be answered: (more…)

This Saab Story Apparently Won’t End

Several investors claim to be “near” purchase of bankrupt Swedish maker’s assets.

by on Jun.04, 2012

The Saab Phoenix Concept. Will the name prove prescient for the now-bankrupt Swedish maker?

At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Saab unveiled a concept car called the Phoenix, named to symbolize the maker’s seeming rebirth from the ashes.  It was clearly premature, as we now know, the maker soon forced into bankruptcy.

Yet, there may still be life in the old brand, a number of potential investors insisting they are close to pulling off a deal that could, indeed, bring Saab back from the dead.  Among the potential rescuers are a Chinese automaker that failed in its original bid to partner with Saab, as well as a new Swedish electric vehicle company.

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But whether Saab can, in fact, be saved is anything but certain even if someone can field a credible offer.  The problem is that some of the insolvent Swedish maker’s assets are controlled by its former parent, General Motors.  And so far, GM has refused to give permission to any of the deals that might have saved Saab.

By various reports there could be as many as a half-dozen different bidders trying to win over the two court-appointed administrators overseeing the Saab liquidation.

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Turkish, Indian Automakes Studying Saab Rescue

“Something could happen this month,” says Saab source.

by on Jan.02, 2012

At least two potential buyers are reportedly looking to take over bankrupt Saab.

Could it really turn out to be a “Happy New Year” for Saab?  Barely two weeks after finally filing for bankruptcy, a move most had expected would result in the liquidation of the long-struggling Swedish automaker, Saab could find salvation in the form of investors from either Turkey or India, industry insiders and company officials reveal.

A report out of Europe suggests an unidentified Turkish entity – which apparently has the support of that country’s government – is interested in purchasing Saab’s assets.  So is Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the two largest Indian national automotive companies.

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Details remain sketchy, but a senior Saab official tells TheDetroitBureau.com that “something could happen this month.” In fact, he added, a revival of the now-bankrupt automaker would have to be put in place this month or the bankruptcy process might make it impossible to put all the pieces back together again.

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Saab Decision Delayed

Maker gets bridge loan but fate still uncertain.

by on Nov.23, 2011

A partially assembled Saab sits idle in Trollhattan. The plant has been shuttered since March.

Saab’s fate appears to be hanging by a thread despite finally receiving a cash infusion from a Chinese alliance looking to buy the struggling Swedish automaker.

Any decision on the fate of Saab has been delayed as the Swedish court that was scheduled to hear arguments over the company’s reorganization has temporarily put off a decision. No date has been set for a new hearing, Saab officials said.  There had been pressure from Saab creditors – and its Swedish unions – to force the company into bankruptcy, which would likely have shut it down.

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Meanwhile, Saab officials are growing slightly more confident about receiving final approval from the Chinese government for the deal that will allow an infusion of Chinese cash into the company. Last summer, dealer network Pang Da and automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus initially agreed to purchase a majority stake in Saab. They are now hoping to purchase the maker outright – but for barely a third of their original offer.

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Time Running Out, Saab May Yet Be Forced to Liquidate

Purchase price might not cover debt.

by on Nov.14, 2011

Even if GM approves the sale of Saab the Chinese deal may not offer enough money to pay off creditors.

Already facing the possibility former owner General Motors will block its sale to a Chinese automotive consortium, fast-fading Saab may be forced into liquidation no matter what because the proposed $181 million purchase price would not cover its outstanding debts.

Saab has been frantically searching for a white knight since last March when unpaid partsmakers began a boycott that quickly shut the company’s headquarters assembly plant down.  With several proposed alternatives on hold the maker late last month announced it would sell its assets to an alliance formed by Chinese dealer network Pang Da and automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus.

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But there are growing doubts the deal can go through. And even if the sale wins approval from GM as well as Chinese authorities it may still be blocked by Saab’s creditors.

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Will GM Block Saab Sale?

“Many unanswered questions.”

by on Nov.07, 2011

GM - which still produces the 9-4X crossover - says it has "many unanswered questions" about the planned sale of Saab to the Chinese.

The Saab soap opera could take yet another turn, General Motors warning that it could move to block the sale of the cash-starved Swedish automaker to a Chinese consortium.

That $142 million deal, announced on October 28, appeared to be the only way out for Swedish Automobile after failing to raise the cash it needed to save Saab.  But the carmaker’s former parent, General Motors, indicates it could use its remaining veto power to prevent the Chinese from creating a new global competitor.

GM sold Saab in early 2010 after agreeing to sell or close four of its eight North American brands as part of its government bankruptcy bailout.  The new owners proved to be seriously underfunded, a situation which became clearly apparent this past March, when key suppliers began boycotting Saab’s headquarters assembly plant over unpaid bills.

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Swedish Automobile raced to negotiate a series of possible deals to raise some much-needed cash.  In June, it inked a preliminary agreement with China’s largest auto dealer network, Pang Da, along with emerging automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus.  But their goal of acquiring a 53% stake in Saab was set back by reluctant bureaucrats who refused to give their authorization.

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Cash-Starved Saab Purchased by Chinese

Current owners take substantial hit; new owners still have to get factory re-opened.

by on Oct.28, 2011

One of the first goals for Saab's new owners will be to reopen its shuttered Swedish assembly plant.

Facing imminent collapse, Saab has agreed to a fire sale that will give two Chinese companies complete control of the Swedish automaker – thought the deal must still be approved by Chinese regulators.

The 100 million Euro – or $141.4 million — purchase price is a fraction of what the two new owners had originally offered for a significantly smaller stake in Saab, but the company appeared to have few other option, with a court-appointed administrator ready to force the troubled firm into bankruptcy.

Saab becomes the second Swedish automaker to fall into the hands of the Chinese, following Ford Motor Co.’s sale of its former Volvo subsidiary to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. in early 2010.

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The new deal means “a much stronger future for Saab,” proclaimed Tim Colbeck, CEO of Saab’s U.S. sales subsidiary, during a conference call Friday morning. Colbeck said that efforts will begin almost immediately to re-open the automaker’s primary assembly plant, which has been idled by financial problems since March.

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Saab Reportedly Seeking Court Protection

Maker hoping to buy time to line up new funds.

by on Aug.26, 2011

Image By: Len Katz

Saab Chairman Victor Muller may be forced to seek court protection to avoid the complete collapse of the Swedish company.

With another payroll likely to be missed and suppliers still refusing to provide the parts it needs to re-open its headquarters assembly plant, Saab is reportedly ready to seek court protection to buy time as it goes searching for more funding.

The news came hours after the maker said it would delay the release of its first-half 2011 financial report.  That report, now scheduled for next week, is expected to be grim.  The maker has produced only a small number of vehicles since it was struck by a supplier boycott, in late March, triggered by unpaid bills.  Despite lining up a series of potential alliances that management had hoped would resolve its financial problems those deals remain tied up in bureaucratic analysis leaving the maker struggling for its survival.

In a terse statement, parent company Swedish Automobile N.V., or SWAN, said it was “aware of certain reports in Swedish media related to a possible filing…for a voluntary reorganization under Swedish law.”

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The statement neither confirmed nor denied the reports, first aired on Swedish public radio but said only that the company is “evaluating all available options” and is “in discussions with several parties to secure the short-term and medium-term funding of Saab Automobile to restart and sustain production.”

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Saab Sinking Fast

Maker faces threat of asset seizure.

by on Aug.18, 2011

Photo by Len Katz.

Production of the Saab 9-4X continues but the rest of its line-up is on hold.

Things look great for Saab – at least on paper, the struggling Swedish maker haven’t lined up an assortment of investors promising to pump $100s of millions of dollars into the company – but the reality is far more bleak.

With unpaid suppliers increasing pressure to get Saab to pay the $625,000 they’re owed, the Swedish Enforcement Agency is warning it may begin legally seizing the carmaker’s assets.  That would be a very likely prelude to the collapse of the company, which has been struggling to re-open its headquarters factory in Trollhattan since partsmakers began a boycott in March.

With the factory that produces the flagship 9-5 model, as well as the smaller 9-3 idled, dealers around the world have been running short of product.  And Saab’s coffers continue to drain since its revenue stream begins the moment products roll off the line.

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The company desperately needs a “major automotive partner,” asserts IHS Automotive analyst Aaron Bragmann, but there is no one likely to come to Saab’s rescue at this point, he contends, a position most other analysts echo.

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