Saab says the time limit on its potential Chinese investors’ memorandum of understanding (MOU ) is concentrating minds as the automaker looks to convince former owners General Motors of its latest business plan.
GM poured cold water on a proposal by Chinese manufacturer Youngman and distributor Pang Da to assume 100% control of Saab, leading to intense negotiations this week between the parties to try and resolve the crisis.
It is believed Saab CEO Victor Muller is leading the talks from his home on the Mediterranean island of Majorca but the Swedish automaker has only until Tuesday, 15 November before the MoU runs out with almost no further options left.
“Time is a factor here of course,” a Saab spokeswoman in Sweden told just-auto. “The MoU as it is formally written now, is valid until 15 November and for many reasons it is in everybody’s interest to come to an agreement as soon as possible.
“It would be fair to say everyone feels the urgency of coming to an agreement”
The Swedish government told just-auto this morning it had raised the possibility of significant job losses should Saab go bankrupt with General Motors, with the US automaker continuing to talk to its former subsidiary.
“GM is definitely a part of the dialogue – I can’t characterise it more precisely than that,” said the Saab spokeswoman. “It is not as if everything is being discussed without GM.
“We are understanding GM’s position – we are looking for a structure that can be agreed upon. GM has some specific points they would like clarified.”
The Swedish government is anxiously eyeing huge job losses of up to 12,000 posts should Saab fail, including those in the supply chain.
The administration has stumped up three months’ wages for Saab employees as the automaker secured bankruptcy protection but that pot has now run its course.
It has also been in contact with China’s National Development and Reform Commission that has the final say on Chinese company investment.