Chinese manufacturer Youngman has told just-auto it is confident it will secure approval from the central Chinese government to invest in ailing Saab as the automaker battles on.
Youngman has already submitted documents to the provincial National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) in Zhijiang, with the process now due to go through a series of regional approvals before being examined by the central administration.
“Youngman is still confident to cooperate with Saab – all the documents are fully prepared,” Youngman Saab project director Rachel Pang told just-auto from China. We know the suppliers also expect Chinese investment and they want to continue business with Saab.
“Saab is continuing of course, they will not stop business as Saab is a great brand with technology. I can’t say when approval will be given. The only thing I can say is so far all the work Youngman has done with the provincial government is going very well.”
“The central government will spend some time to investigate – we don’t see any problem.”
Pang confirmed to just-auto that as well as Saab possessing a potential capacity of around 200,000 vehicles per year, Youngman was looking to build up a 150,000 potential with localised work in China.
The Youngman Saab project director also underlined plans to proceed with the development of 9-1, 9-6 and 9-7 models, which until now have not formed part of Saab’s portfolio.
A conditional agreement with Youngman was inked in April for the formation of a Sweden-based joint venture company to develop the new product Saab models (NPJV), a situation Pang confirmed to just-auto.
“We are looking to build factories in China,” she said. “We will localise some cars in China but this depends on discussions between the JV in China and Saab in Sweden.”
In July, Saab signed final agreements with Youngman and Chinese distributor Pang Da to convert a non-binding MOU relating to equity investments into binding agreement.