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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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Saab’s Chinese Deals Collapse

Terms complete takeover bid “unacceptable.”

by on Oct.24, 2011

Image By: Len Katz

The Chinese deal lined up by Saab CEO Victor Muller appears to have collapsed.

Even as it appears ready to tumble into complete collapse, Saab has rejected a bid by two erstwhile Chinese partners to completely take over the troubled Swedish company.

The decision comes months after Saab negotiated a less extensive alliance with China’s Pang Da and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus – that deal still tied up by Chinese regulators.

The decision to pull back from the Chinese comes at an especially awkward time for Saab.  An administrator last week indicated he would seek to have the carmaker’s court-protected financial reorganization terminated. With its headquarters factory closed and relatively little money available observers believe Saab could be a matter of days away from being forced into insolvency.

Ironically, that could make it possible for one or both of the Chinese companies to seek to purchase what would be left of Saab’s assets, according to several industry observers.

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The breakdown with Pang Da, China’s largest auto retailer, and carmaker Youngman Lotus came about because they had “failed to confirm their commitment” to the agreement announced over the summer and – more notably – had failed to provide desperately needed bridge funding, according to Swedish Auto, the parent of Saab.

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