CHINA: Bosch spearheads Youngman visit as new Saab rescue plan mooted
European supplier body CLEPA has arranged for a Chinese-speaking Bosch representative to be on today's (19 January) Youngman-sponsored trip to China in a bid to evaluate its potential new EUR1bn offer for bankrupt Saab.
Youngman's previous bid for Saab collapsed following strenuous objections from former owner General Motors concerning licencing agreements, but it now appears the Chinese could develop new models based on a financial injection of around EUR1bn (US$1.3bn).
"We have arranged for Bosch to send an experienced [person] on China," CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto from Brussels. "The Bosch person there is Chinese-speaking, knows the environment [and] knows Youngman in and out.
"They have a good chance of doing a good job. I am optimistic in this case because we have taken away the hurdle of GM [although] they can still make life tough. We of course, like the idea Saab is going to be kept alive because that will give us a possibility to recover our money."
Holmqvist added Youngman's new plan would not involve the contentious 9-4X and 9-5 licences, but would rather focus on developing the 9-3 model as well as Lotus variants and the Saab Phoenix architecture.
"They [Youngman] have a capability to put in around EUR1bn," said Holmqvist. "We, of course, are going to make sure there is going to be some real realism into that as well.
"The 9-3 is not a big risk to GM - there has to be a limit to how nasty they can be."
The delegation - that also includes Scandinvian supplier body FKG - landed this morning in China and will hold meetings at two Youngman plants.
The CLEPA CEO will participate in a conference call this Sunday evening (22 January) to discuss the situation, while Saab's receivers say they will hold a press briefing the previous day.
The receivers are not on the China trip, but it seems following recent comments from CLEPA, they will meet Youngman in Stockholm.
Youngman was not immediately avaialble for comment, while the receivers did not return calls to discuss details of the press conference this weekend.