Saab Licenses Rights To Phoenix (Next-Gen 9-3) Platform For $95 Million

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2011 Saab PhoeniX Concept

2011 Saab PhoeniX Concept

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Saab is in trouble. That's been clear for a long while now. Just how much trouble has come into focus in the last few weeks. Now, Saab has decided to license its core next-generation sedan architecture to a "special purpose" vehicle company called Swedish Automobile coöperatief U.A. (SPV).

The Phoenix architecture is what Saab had been planning to build its next 9-3 on, eventually moving its 9-5 and 9-4X crossover to the platform as well. Even the proposed 9-2 could be built, should Saab survive, on a smaller version of the architecture.

Based loosely on GM's Epsilon platform, which is the basis for the current 9-3, the Phoenix architecture makes some alterations: it's longer, wider, and lower, with a new rear axle type and many technological upgrades.

The license agreement for use of the Phoenix platform will transfer from SPV to Youngman, a frequent player in Saab's ongoing debt struggles, through yet another licensing agreement. Youngman has guaranteed the payment of the license price.

But looking beyond the non-exclusive licensing of the rights to the platform, Saab secures itself a healthy chunk of cash to help repay its debts to its workers and the Swedish government. Saab is still awaiting official approval of a 245 million euro ($320 million) equity investment from Youngman and Pang Da.
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  1. I have mixed feelings about this. It's clear that Saab is determined to have a future in the automotive field. What bothers me is that this $95 million could've been used to pay off debt and get production back under control.

    I think Saab will continue to fight for bankruptcy protection, then ultimately come out with a clean slate, ready to forge forward with a few new models.

    I have always been a supporter of Saab...but what's causing consumers to be reluctant are the thoughts of whether Saab will exist in a few years, and where they'll go to service their vehicles.
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