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Saab’s Chinese Takeaway goes cold

Thu, 12 May 2011

Saab loses Hawtai investment

There’s nothing worse than a cold Chinese; all congealed and unappetising. A reality Victor Muller woke up to today when the news broke that the much-trumpeted investment by China’s Hawtai in Saab had turned sour. But it wasn’t exactly unexpected.

Although it wasn’t widely noted in the European press, the Chinese press couldn’t see Hawtai getting permission from the Chinese government to throw €120 million at Saab. And they were dead right. So what now for Saab?

Well, it appears that the production lines in Trollhattan are still quiet, despite funding supposedly sorted out last week. It did appear that Vladimir Antonov had got agreement to buy Saab assets and lease them back to the beleaguered car maker, but we’re not sure that deal has got all the necessary approvals.

But the deal with Vladimir means Saab no longer has the assets to secure the €400 million EIB loan, which is now €120 million less at €280 million. The money from Hawtai would have plugged that gap and allowed Saab to push forward with the Saab 9-1, which is much needed.

It seems Saab is again doing the rounds looking for backing, but the options are running out. Much seems to rest on the idiotically diverse range of vested interests reaching agreement on investments whilst Saab is whithering on the vine. Much fiddling going on while Saab is burning, it seems.

It’s not looking good.

By Cars UK