We all knew that the Saab deal was done, in principle, but all of the final details were still being hammered out. A big sticking point was the fact that Saab’s new owner, NEVS, wanted the rights to use the “Saab” name, but needed approval from Saab AB.
As expected, that is now all in the past, as NEVS and Saab AB have reached an agreement to allow NEVS licensed usage of the famed name. However, NEVS was not able to procure a license to use the half-lion, half-bird Griffin emblem that Saab was also famous for. This means all new Saab vehicles will either have a new emblem or just a decal that reads “Saab.”
A strange development in this that has almost fallen through the cracks is the fact that NEVS has also secured the intellectual property rights to the aborted Phoenix platform. The odd thing about that is that Youngman just entered a deal with Spyker to manufacture a car based on the Phoenix platform, which Youngman purchased the license to use back when Saab first went under. This means that there may be two cars running around in China bearing almost identical styles, but different names and completely different drivetrains. Strange...
What would be even more odd in this dysfunctional triangle would be if NEVS contracts Spyker and Youngman to manufacture the Phoenix to attempt to save a little production cost. That’s highly unlikely of a situation, as NEVS also secured all of Saab’s tools and its extremely high-tech Trollhattan plant and testing labs.
Get your popcorn ready for this one, we smell a lawsuit coming up at some point...
We seriously lost count of how many times Youngman was blocked while trying to purchase Saab before it was finally awarded to a lower, but more “suitable” bidder. Finally, after numerous swings and misses, Youngman has found a suitable partner in its automobile-manufacturing venture. Ironically, it is with the company he was originally blocked from buying Saab from, Spyker.
Spyker and Youngman have just inked a framework deal that assigns 29.9 percent of Spyker’s stock to Youngman. In turn, Youngman will pay €10,000,000. Of the initial investment, €6.7 million will be used to pay for the 29.9 percent ownership, while the remaining €3.3 million will act as a shareholder loan. The entire deal should be completed within 45 days of the signing of the deal, as that is the time frame that Youngman has to pay the deal in full.
In this deal, the two companies will form a joint venture called Spyker P2P B.V. (Spyker P2P) Youngman will contribute an additional €25 million to this venture and take 75 percent share hold in it. Spyker’s 25 percent share hold comes in the form of technological contributions. Spyker P2P will use this technology to develop the Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris super sports utility vehicle (SSUV). The $250,000 SSUV is set to launch in 2014 and Spyker P2P B.V. will use its technology to help launch additional models.
A second joint venture, dubbed the Spyker Phoenix, will see Youngman contribute the Phoenix platform technology that he bought from Saab and fund 100 percent of the venture. This will net Youngman an 80 percent share hold on the Phoenix and give Spyker 20 percent — we assume this share is for Spyker manufacturing the car.
This is certainly a great big mess of numbers, but essentially, Youngman is giving Spyker a ton of money and Spyker is providing its technology on one vehicle and, we assume, the manufacture of the other vehicle to gain minority share in said vehicles.
We’ll keep a close eye on this one and let you know if it actually ever pans out or simply fizzles away.
Click past the jump to read the full press release.
Just when we thought that the Saab saga was reaching its closure, a new wrench gets thrown into the mix. When NEVS purchased Saab’s assets a little while ago, we were under the impression that this sale included the rights to the “Saab” name and logo. According to reports coming out now, this is not the case.
Apparently, the sale of Saab only covered the failed Swedish automaker’s physical assets. The truck-building company, Scania, and Saab AB still own the rights to the Logo and the “Saab” name. For NEVS to legally use the name, both Scania and Saab AB will need to sign off on the usage, and the companies are reportedly in talks about how to handle this.
We would assume that Scania has no issues at all and just wants a piece of that Saab resurrection pie. Saab AB, on the other hand, still runs Saab’s line of parts, which was not included in the bankruptcy. Saab AB could benefit by using this opportunity to negotiate their way into new dealerships when NEVS starts rolling out new electric-powered Saabs. Saab AB also has to consider protecting its brand image, and it NEVS completely botches this revival, it will make Saab AB look bad as well.
We’re confident that a deal will be struck between the three companies to allow NEVS the rights to the name and logo, but Saab AB will likely have a heavy hand in how the name is used.
As always, we’ll keep you updated as additional information comes to the surface on this seemingly endless Saab saga.
As Saab closes up its latest chapter, which included bankruptcy and many months or “We’re sold, wait, no we’re not” turmoil, we were left wondering what happened to the 900 (ish) Saabs that got held up at port whenever the failed car company filed for bankruptcy. Well, now that Saab has been liquidated to the point that only the 900 cars remain, we now have an idea what’s going on with them.
According to reports, all 900 cars will be auctioned off to varying companies and exporters. Only 300 of these leftover Saabs will make their way into dealerships and the dealers have the option to either put them up for sale at a 30- to 50-percent discount and sell them or strip them down for parts. Obviously the most profitable game would be to strip them down, but it may take a while to sell off all of the parts. So we may be in for some super-cheap Saabs hitting what remaining Saab dealers there are.
The majority of the leftover Saabs will be auctioned to exporters and rental companies. So, for an American to snag up one of these Saabs he has to either find a dealership close enough that actually wants more stock on its lot or pick one up after the rental car company is done with it – AKA after it has been thrashed to within an inch of its life. Who buys a used rental car anyways?
According to the inventory report, there are 67 company cars, which include a 1960 Quantum IV and a `70 Sonnett III, over 450 9-5s, 400 9-3 sedans, 60 9-3 wagons, 12 9-3 convertibles and 28 9-4X crossovers.
So thus closes another part of the Saab saga. Now we just have to see what NEVS can do with the bankrupt Swedish automaker.
few days ago, we let you know that several sources were reporting that bankrupt Swedish automaker, Saab, was finally sold to Hong Kong-based, Sweden-registered renewable energy company, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). This in turn booted Youngman out of the bidding war for the third time, but we had not yet seen any official reports. Well, we now have all something official.
NEVS’ boss, Karl Johan Jiang (interesting mixture of names) announced at a news conference that NEVS indeed won the folded automaker and that NEVS will indeed use the “Saab” name on its cars. NEVS was awarded the Saab factory, its tooling company and the 9-3’s architecture, which is odd, as BAIC purchased the intellectual rights to the 9-3 several months ago. We assume that BAIC got the drivetrain rights and Saab retained the underpinnings and body.
NEVS also let us know that we will not be without a new Saab vehicle on the road for much longer, as NEVS is currently developing an EV car based on the 9-3’s architecture that it was awarded and that car should be released in the next 18 months. Sales will start in China, then eventually move worldwide.
Unfortunately, NEVS’ bid did not include the 9-4x or 9-5 rights, so other than the 9-3, Saab will be starting all over again with brand new models, if it ever gets off of the ground. Given the Saab 9-3’s somewhat sporty nature, we expect to see a higher performance EV made of it. It definitely won’t be a screamer, like the Tesla Model S, but also not as slow as a Nissan Leaf.
There should be loads more information coming down the pike in the next 18 months, and we will update you as often as we can. Until then, congratulations to NEVS and the “Saab” name for making it through this long saga.
This time around, it looks as if Saab has finally found itself a home. Sweden-registered and Hong Kong-based firm, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, has been awarded the folded automaker and what’s left of its assets, according to a Swedish newspaper. The winning bid is estimated to be between $208 million and $250 million. That is less than half of the last reported bid by Youngman, which really shows that the Chinese firm was either demanding the parts operation, which the NEVS AB deal does not include, or just not seen as a trusted bidder.
The deal is expected to be finalized and pen is expected to hit the “Sign Here” line in about a week, if the reports are accurate. After that, NEVS AB can take complete ownership of what’s left of Saab, which is little more than an S, a pair of As, and a B. We are not aware of NEVS AB’s plans with Saab, but we can say with a lot of certainty that it will involve alternative fuels (i.e. electric, hydrogen, hybrid, etc.)
We have yet to receive official confirmation on the deal, but this looks to be the real deal, FINALLY. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available on the ongoing Saab saga.
Just a few weeks ago, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile – no, not that Lotus – was pushed out of the bidding ring for Saab due to what Autoweek called “Chinese bureaucracy” and the fact that there were some worries about the Chinese firm coming up with the scratch needed to finalize the deal.
This allowed a group of Chinese businesses, headed up by an alternative energy firm, to swoop in and take the lead on bidding. It looks as if Youngman isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel just yet, as according to Bloomberg the Chinese firm has just entered in a new bid of 4 billion kronor ($552 million) to purchase the bankrupted Swedish automaker.
The true test here is if this bid is even accepted. Youngman’s first bid was flat out rejected by GM. The second bid went belly up for similar reasons, we can only assume. So what makes Youngman think that this bid will receive a stamp of approval?
Even if Youngman succeeds in purchasing Saab’s remaining assets, what exactly does it plan on doing with the folded automaker? Most signs are pointing to Saab moving toward alternative energy sources to attempt to spearhead that market early on with a recognizable name. That’s all well and good, but the intellectual rights of the 9-3 and 9-5 are owned by BAIC, which leaves the company the rights to just the 9-4X SUV.
This lack of vehicles to base new ones off of means that whoever wins this relatively low-budget bidding war will essentially be building the company from scratch. Fortunately for the winner, the “Saab” name is well known and was once a fairly popular brand.
We will continue following the Saab bidding war and keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Just a few weeks ago, it seemed all but inevitable that Saab would be saved by a massive takeover bid from Chinese mega-company, Youngman but unfortunately, the company recently confirmed that it has pulled out of its multi-billion dollar bid to purchase the flailing brand. However, if the latest reports are to be believed, Saab may not be dead just quite yet.
Little known Swedish firm, National Electric Vehicle Sweden is said to be behind the latest bid to purchase Saab’s remaining assets for an undisclosed amount. But if previous speculation about GM shooting down Youngman’s billion dollar bid for Saab is true, then we can only imagine how much this new deal must be worth.
If NEVS really has struck a deal to purchase Saab, then it’s likely the firm has ambitious plans to turn Saab into an electric automobile producer, to help inject some life into the brand. What’s very interesting about this latest bid is that NEVS is actually owned by none other than Karl-Erling Trogen, the man once behind the operations at Volvo Trucks.
Although all of this sounds very promising, we have serious doubts that NEVS bid will be accepted if previous, unsuccessful attempted acquisitions are anything to go by.
Just days ago, we brought news about how Swedish Automobile - which used to consist of Saab and Spyker – was dissolved, as both companies went their separate ways. The only difference between the two is that Spyker is still a viable business while Saab is still crippled with debt with absolutely no known development currently taking place.
Chinese mega-company Youngman put in a multi-million dollar bid to purchase Saab in its entirety from GM a few months ago, but General Motors swiftly denied the offer and once again Saab’s future was left in limbo; the same position which has faced the company for the past few years. Even with Youngman’s promise of putting upwards of $1.5 billion into developing new Saab models over the coming years, GM still wasn’t swayed, but to our surprise that didn’t put Youngman off in anyway.
As a result, Youngman has put in yet another bid to purchase Saab, this time for the sum of $470 million at current exchange rates. In addition, the $1.5 billion promise of development still stands, so in total Youngman is willing to spend almost $2 billion to prop up Saab which currently has a debt of around $2 billion, so it sounds like quite a reasonable offer to us.
However, don’t for one second think that this offer will be accepted, as Youngman also has to compete with Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra who have also reportedly put at least one bid into the acquisition of Saab.
In all honesty, we’re not really sure why so many companies are fighting over Saab, as the brand’s reputation has been tarnished massively over the past few years. Nevertheless, we hope all the bidding parties well and hopefully Saab’s debt saga can be put to rest soon enough.
Back in 2009, we reported that little-known Chinese car manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd., which fortunately goes by the acronym BAIC, officially purchased the intellectual rights to the Saab 9-3 and 9-5. It was a rather odd transaction, to say the least, as few people knew what BAIC’s plans were with these rights.
Well, BAIC has officially come forward to let us all know the plan. There are two BAIC cars making their debuts at the Beijing Auto Show, which opens to the press on April 23rd and the general public on the 27th, one of which we know is based on the Saab 9-3.
The Saab 9-3-based model is dubbed the C70, but that is about where our knowledge stops, as BAIC has kept a pretty tight lid on the happenings on at their office. We can speculate that the C70 will feature a Saab engine, likely the 210-horsepower 2.0-liter used in the final 9-3.
The larger BAIC C80K is the most likely home for the high-output Saab V-6 from the defunct 9-5. This model has a little more info available, as BAIC teased us with a few images of the upcoming vehicle. From what we can tell from its outside, this vehicle appears to be designed to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and maybe even Bentley, but that 3.0-liter V-6 wouldn’t hold a candle to those makes. This makes it a possibility that the C80K’s engine is an in-house build.
Really cool, yet potentially dangerous, features on the C80K are the B-pillar-less suicide doors. This looks really cool, by giving one wide open entry with both doors open, but could potentially weaken the structural integrity significantly. We also know that the C80k will measure in at 205 inches long and 75 inches wide.
That’s about all we know right now about these new BAIC models, except that they will only be available in China. We will pass along more details as they come along.