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Saab Lining Up New Chinese Partner

by on Dec.05, 2011

Saab has lined up yet another Chinese deal - but may face problems getting it approved.

Struggling Swedish automaker Saab has lined up yet another White Knight in an effort to forestall bankruptcy.

With several earlier deals now stalled, Saab officials revealed they are talking with an undisclosed Chinese bank hoping it will partner with China’s Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. to buy a stake in the Swedish maker.

But the latest proposal would face some of the same hurdles that have tripped up other possible rescue deals.  Among other things, it would require the approval of Saab’s former parent, General Motors, which has been reluctant to give the go to any deal that might hand proprietary technologies over to the Chinese.

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Saab was struggling even before GM agreed to sell off the subsidiary in early 2010.  But things got significantly worse early this year when a number of key suppliers launched a boycott over unpaid bills.  The maker’s headquarters plant, in Trollhattan, Sweden, hasn’t been in steady operation since late March.