TURKEY: "Shocked" and "upset" Brightwell confirms ending Saab race
Saab bidder Brightwell Holdings says it is "shocked" and "very upset" after withdrawing from the bid to secure approval to restart production at the Swedish automaker.
The Turkish private equity company claims "intransigence" by GM led to its decision to ditch any prospective buyout - a view the Detroit manufacturer has refuted insisting its licencing technology "is not on the table."
Brightwell's ire stems partly from the fact it claims it spent millions of Euros to secure the right to restart production at the Swedish automaker's Trollhattan base and has expressed bafflement at GM's position.
"Shocked is an understatement," Brightwell Holdings partner Zamier Ahmed told just-auto. "I am very, very upset. We have spent millions of Euros getting together collaborators and using third parties, as well as in-house - we really don't understand their intransigence.
"I can only assume they have no interest in keeping Saab alive - if this is their attitude then I don't think anyone has a fair chance."
GM has long questioned allowing its technology licences for Saab to be used by potential competitors, previously raising objections to Chinese manufacturer, Youngman, concerning technology and control transfer issues, effectively scuppering its former bid.
The US automaker had said it would not agree to existing technology licences or the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles to the Swedish manufacturer if there was a - Chinese - change of control. GM has a major existing relationship with Chinese company, SAIC.
But Brightwell points to its Turkish roots and that it would have restarted production in Saab's home town of Trollhattan.
"We are not Chinese," said Ahmed. "We are on the cusp of Europe, product is made here and exported all over the world. In any case, we would continue production in Trollhattan, not Turkey."
Despite Ahmed's bleak assessment, the Brightwell partner did not entirely rule out revisiting the Saab question, although the chances appear slim.
"If GM hands me a call this afternoon, I will jump on a 'plane and visit them in Detroit," he said.