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A Saab Story with a Happy Ending?

Swedish maker builds first car in over two years.

by on Dec.02, 2013

The Saab plant was building the maker's 9-5 model when it was forced to shut down in April 2011.

Could there be a happy ending to one of the auto industry’s longest-running Saab stories? Or, more appropriately, a happy new beginning?

After a more than two-and-a-half-year shutdown that saw the Swedish maker go bankrupt, new owners have fired up the assembly line and rolled out a new Saab 9-3 Aero. The question is whether the plant will be able to keep going under control of a Chinese-Japanese consortium that eventually wants to shift production to a new line of electric vehicles.

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For now, production at the old Saab plant in Trollhattan, Sweden will be limited to “small and humble numbers,” said Mikael Ostlund, the spokesman for Hong Kong-based National Electric Vehicle Sweden.


Saab May Be Hours From Bankruptcy

Chinese deals appear dead.

by on Oct.11, 2011

A new Saab 9-4X with the 9-5. Production of the latter model has been on hold since late March.

With a pair of Chinese deals apparently ready to collapse, it appears that embattled Swedish automaker Saab may be mere hours away from bankruptcy.

The administrator put in charge of helping Saab reorganize appears to be losing patience as several proposed partnerships fail to materialize for the Swedish marque.  Barring a last-minute breakthrough, Swedish newspapers say he could pull the plug and force Saab into formal bankruptcy, effectively spelling the end for the maker.

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Saab had hoped to turn to two Chinese allies, dealership network Pangda and automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus, to generate more than $200 million in much-needed cash – including a $96 million short-term bridge loan.  But the loan has repeatedly been delayed and it appears now that the Chinese government is refusing to authorize the deals because it does not believe Saab can provide the sort of intellectual property the money would justify, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

“We are still expecting the Youngman loan to come in,” insisted spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs, but the maker has been saying the same thing for weeks.