• Sweden edition
 
SAAB BECOMES CHINESE
'The deal was crucial for Saab': expert
Victor Muller and Pang Da CEO Pang Qinghua; Mikael Wickelgren

'The deal was crucial for Saab': expert

Published: 28 Oct 2011 14:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Oct 2011 14:59 GMT+02:00

The Local spoke to business expert Mikael Wickelgren of the Centre for Consumer Science at the University of Gothenburg to get some perspective on what this means for Saab and for Sweden.

The Local: Will this save Saab?

Mikael Wickelgren: It's way too early to say that yet. This deal alone can't save the company anyway, it just means that the restructuring will not be cancelled.

TL: Is Saab a profitable deal for the Chinese?

MW: At the moment Saab can't be seen as a profitable deal for anyone. It will take measures; basically money to be pumped in to the company to pay off debts and make investments in the company. It will cost a lot of money to start with.

TL: Did the Chinese make a good deal over Saab?

MW: Well, the deal is hardly established yet. All we have seen so far is a so called memorandum of understanding, which basically means that they will now sit down and work out the actual deal.

TL: Is Saab going to be able to continue being a ”Swedish” car?

MW: What is a Swedish car? Is Volvo a Swedish car despite being 100 percent owned by Chinese companies? Is Jaguar a British car despite its Indian owners? I think it depends on what we perceive it to be, more than anything.

TL: Will cars continue being built in Trollhättan?

MW: There are no indications that the production will be moved in the short term, that is, within the next 5-6 years. Trollhättan is and will continue to be the epicentre of Saab production.

TL: What does this mean for Saab's future?

MW: It was completely crucial for Saab. If this hadn't happened, they would not have been working on the particulars of the Saab future but the Saab bankruptcy right now.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:47 October 28, 2011 by AmericanSwede16
how many people lost their jobs?
18:38 October 28, 2011 by spy
19 months in Muller's ownership was more stressful for poor Saab than 20 years in GM's ownership. Good luck to Saab under Chinese stewardship!!!!!!!!!!!!!
02:49 October 29, 2011 by paradisoch
As a U.S. resident who owns and loves his Saab 9-3, I find it unimaginable that the Swedish government would just allow one of its most recognized and well-respected brands to be sold to a Chinese company. What do you have left now? Maybe the factory in Trollhattan, but after 10 years once the Chinese have gotten all the know-how and technology transferred to China, they will surely close that factory.

I find it hard to understand that a country that prides itself on heavy governmental involvement in private affairs, you would just let this jewel of a company leave.

While I love my Saab, any new Saab will just never be the same and I do not plan to ever buy another one.
02:51 October 29, 2011 by millionmileman
This a great relief as so much was at stake. Volvo is doing well under Chines ownership. If it was not for Victor Muller buying SAAB from GM we would not be writing this story today.

Thank you Victor for your tenacity.
11:47 October 29, 2011 by Horace
I posted this on the other Saab article but I will repeat it here:

Why must there always be negativity towards us Chinese buying out a foreign firm? It happened with Geely and the comments seem to repeat it self now with Saab. Was there also similar negativity when the Americans took over Volvo and Saab?

I work at Volvo Cars, and the general consensus now is that the Chinese owner is treating them miles better than how the Americans treated them. Yet I feel like my race gets a lot of hate.
12:23 October 29, 2011 by Just_Kidding
2. Horace... Maybe hidden racism...
16:57 October 29, 2011 by Osk
Err paradisoch... Saab was not owned by the Swedish government, in fact before Spyker bought it it was owned by an American company. These days you will find the Chinese own quite a lot , of America as well as Europe. Get used to it.

Calm down Horace, it will take a bit of time for the west to get used to the fact that China runs the world now.
19:19 October 29, 2011 by spy
I have no problem with the Chinese owning Saab I am sure they will do a better job than the last mob who starved it of cash.

Soon the Chinese will own much of Europe's debt too. Good luck to them.
11:41 October 30, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
What will the world be like when it is entirely owned by China?
12:28 October 30, 2011 by grace89
paradisoch.....it does not matter whether you ever buy Saab car again, but it does matter that Chinese has a deal with Saab this time. This is the fact.

The world is changing.
07:02 October 31, 2011 by useronthenet
We are taught here in Sweden to be open, free and just ... to treat everyone with respect and on an equal basis. These rights were fought for through democracy over many years, and yet all of these have been set aside in order to deal with a country which has a terrible human rights record, that does not uphold the values that we enjoy, am I missing something here, or has the country gone totally mad ? Doing business with the Chinese is totally wrong! Sweden must look seriously at what it is doing. I for one would be prepared to pay a little bit extra to ensure jobs stay in Sweden. Selling 'iconic' brands is crazy, and it is diluting what we represent. If we don't watch out we will become slaves to our new masters. I hope Sweden is prepared for the outcome.
13:41 October 31, 2011 by Vee50
I simply love Swedish design. So long as the car designers are still Swedish born and bred, doesn't matter whose cash it is. This is business.
17:45 October 31, 2011 by Horace
@useronthenet

I understand where you're coming from, since I have heard these opinions before. However, as a Chinese myself, I just have to raise couple questions which will hopefully, convince you to not be so anti Chinese.

1) Is there a strong correlation between Chinese citizens and the human rights record of China? If country X has a really bad human rights record, does that mean most of the citizens there support poor human rights? Is Pang Da and Youngman responsible for any human rights violations in China?

2) If doing business with the Chinese is totally wrong, then is it right for a small Swedish store to reject selling me their goods just because I am Chinese? I think most would answer no for that question. And if so, then at what scale of business does it suddenly go from okay to not okay?
00:41 November 1, 2011 by Just_Kidding
@Vee50

Obviously many people care about parameters such as durability rather than the Swedish race of car designers; just compare the sales of Toyota and Saab :)

I myself think that I am smart enough to decide about a car based on customer reviews of the brand and its resale value rather than the bread of the car's designers.

By the way, Swedish people design and build some amazing trucks, but I am not much impressed by ugly cars with engines borrowed from here and there.
02:30 November 1, 2011 by earthworm
This will be interesting.

I say this ..."go China", its about time, with a near majority of this planets people and the oldest civilization.....

As it is now, IMO, made in China means value and decent workmanship...Can Sweden do as well....a nation of designers and engineers...and Chinese to be the second language..
07:04 November 2, 2011 by Vee50
Just_Kidding

Don't get me wrong, by Swedish, I meant Swedish culture though most of the time race and culture are mingled. The designer could be an Afro-Swede but so long as the designs are of strong Swedish influence, that's Swedish. You could be right about the engines being borrowed here and there due to American business models but no chance Swedish cars are ugly. Toyota? Yes, like Honda, as a total package they are good at what they do. Perhaps, there is a thing or two that Swedish auto companies can learn from them on the execution side of the business. Japanese cars better looking than Swedish cars? Zero chance.
23:28 November 2, 2011 by Just_Kidding
Vee50...

I am glad that you were not looking from the race point of view. I agree that the engineering traditions, business approaches and work style in a country affects a product. When I was young I had an american bike and and Indian bike, every summer I pulled apart my american bike and oiled and put it back, but it was not possible with the Indian bike since they were using low grade steels in its nuts and bolts.

About the looks of Hondas and Toyotas, lets say that we have a different sense of style. By the way, some of the hondas and toyotas (e.g. 1999 Toyota Corolla) exported to Europe are considerably uglier than those exported to the american market.
23:26 November 3, 2011 by zeulf
Horace I do think that this will go better than Spykers ownership, which seemed to be just a ballon,filled with nothing but hot air. the Chinese are like any other group, the Han believing themselves to be just the smartest people on the planet. Kind of like the Swedes, or Brits, Yanks, Aussies, Canadians, Russians, Germans , French, Italians I think they will do well with Saab. but their country is still run by a Dictatorship. Lets hope it all works out
17:08 November 4, 2011 by Horace
I think it has more to do with income than race. I know many Swedes and Chinese who do not think they're the smartest or even smart. If I had to generalized I'd say it's rich people (Swedes, Chinese, Brits, etc...) who think they're the smartest :)
Today's headlines
Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'
This canine friend is not amused. Photo: TT

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'

Swedish weather agency SMHI has raised its weather warning to class 2, giving notice of "extremely high temperatures" in parts of the country. READ  

Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se