2011 Saab PhoeniX ConceptEnlarge Photo
One of the companies bidding on Saab as a whole is China’s Youngman, who placed a formal bid of some $298 million (not the $446 million previously reported) for the automaker on February 14. Fox Business reports that Youngman is also willing to invest as much as $1.8 billion to develop new Saab models, ensuring that the brand has life beyond its current GM-developed products.
GM blocked earlier attempts by Youngman to acquire Saab, as the Detroit-based automaker had concerns over technology used in existing Saab models. GM is already partnered with Chinese automakers such as SAIC, so sharing technology with Youngman would affect its competitive advantage in the Chinese market.
To circumvent this, Youngman has proposed a plan where it will begin manufacturing pre-GM Saab 9-3s until it can develop the Saab Phoenix platform, a process that could take up to two years. Youngman has stated that it will retain production Trollhattan, Sweden, at least for the immediate future.
If Youngman’s offer for the bankrupt automaker is ultimately rejected, the company stands to lose the $62 million it’s already invested in the struggling automaker. Whatever the decision of the receivers turns out to be, Youngman’s ties to Saab will likely prove costly.