SWEDEN: Saab holds urgent talks with Chinese after GM intervention
Saab is urgently talking to proposed Chinese investors Youngman and Pang Da following former owner General Motor's decision not to agree to existing technology licences.
GM's decision, which includes the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles, has thrown the Chinese deal into confusion, with Saab CEO Victor Muller holding talks to try and find a way through the impasse.
"Victor Muller is quite clear on the record he was aware this was a risk," a Saab spokeswoman told just-auto from Sweden. "The situation is rather complex - there are a lot of parties involved here.
"The next step is with the Chinese to review the proposed ownership structure and see if we can come to a structure that all parties can agree upon."
It appears from comments made by Muller and confirmed by Saab to just-auto, that the sticking point with GM could involve the ownership structure of manufacturer Youngman taking a 60% share and distributor Pang Da, 40%.
GM yesterday (7 November) said now it had a more "clear understanding" of the acquisition, it could not allow the new Saab owners to licence its technology if there was a change of control. However, the US manufacturer noted it was prepared to continue supplying powertrains and components.
Saab agreed to the proposed Chinese acquisition last week - a move that could see its myriad creditors - including numerous suppliers - being paid outstanding debts - but the GM intervention will now take priority.
"The reorganisation continues, that goes forward," said the Saab spokeswoman. "But those discussions with the Chinese have to proceed.
"We do have to come to a proposal that will be of satisfaction to all the parties involved."
Youngman was not immediately available for comment.