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New bidder in the Saab saga shows its hand

TT/The Local/gm · 3 Feb 2012, 15:43

Published: 03 Feb 2012 15:43 GMT+01:00

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Mao Hai, vice president of Beijing Automotive Investment BAIC, told the website ttela.se that the Chinese automotive giant is keen on buying up what remains of Saab possibly in a joint deal with Panasonic, to produce electric cars.

”Yes, we are considering it, but it's also a rather complicated business,” he said.

It would not be the first time that BAIC has shown an interest in the Swedish firm, after it purchased tools for older Saab models in 2009.

So far however there has been no official word from Hans Bergqvist and Anne-Marie Pouteaux, the official receivers dealing with the Saab case.

"As we have previously made clear, we will not comment on details of individual stakeholders or bid during the sale process.”

According to the financial newspaper Dagens Industri, Youngman’s bid is between 2.2 and 3.2 billion kronor ($327 - $475 million).

Representatives from the Chinese company are reported to be in Sweden already to begin negotiations, while there have been no indication yet of what BAIC may be prepared to pay for Saab.

Much will depend on whether either of the interested parties would want to buy the carmaker in its entirety or just certain parts of it and it is still unclear even if a decision were to be reached soon, how quickly production could restart at the plant.

Story continues below…

Deliveries have now been at a standstill for nearly a year and it would take a while to get the process up and running again.

”Even if we were to play with the idea that things could be resolved in a couple of weeks, production not be started earlier than mid-summer,” said Fredrik Sidahl, general manager of the branch organisation representing car suppliers, FKG.

TT/The Local/gm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:39 February 3, 2012 by scrawler
19:41 February 3, 2012 by james7
Why doesn't the Swedish government help a Swedish or scandinavian company, or possibly a German automaker buy Saab to preserve the jobs and keep them in Sweden? The US government helped the US auto companies and it worked. The Swedes need to be more socialist!!
21:01 February 3, 2012 by skogsbo
Because Saab has been american for years? And most people won't buy one now anyway.
23:47 February 3, 2012 by Coalbanks
Lost jobs will cost more than bailing out the current version of SAAB.
11:04 February 4, 2012 by Ballcocks
By all means sell of what you can to the highest bidder in order to claw back a fraction of the money already poured into this black hole, but to talk of restarting production?. Surely this only gives false hope to the fantasists and feeble minded.
13:25 February 4, 2012 by Abe L
It's not given false hope, SAAB made excellent cars, it just had the wrong management. Swedes can't lead global enterprises, but their engineering skills aren't often much better. The Americans never figured out what to do with it either. However, in the right hands with people who know how to market a car brand to a larger audience with different models for the various price classes of cars, it can definitely compete. There is a large market for quality, efficient and cheap cars. There are plenty of small and cheap Asian cars on the market, but they all lack in quality.

The Swedish government just needs to make sure that not more of Sweden's industry ends up in Chinese hands.
20:51 February 5, 2012 by Escort
On and on goes the broken record. The vultures are picking over what remains of the dead carcass that is Saab. They went of the radar 20 years ago and won't make a comeback now. What the Swedes should be doing is trying to secure the long-term future of the living (i.e. Volvo), which is by no means certain. I, along with many others, are more than a little uncomfortable with the direction in which the Chinese are taking that company.
10:49 February 9, 2012 by sureiam
Swedes ; Business skills go hand in hand with social skills and for Swedes need 100 years to be "socialists"............ After living in Sweden for some years "not surprised at all, why all productive Industries / factories are failing in the "God damn country"!!!!!!!!
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