Spyker CEO Victor Muller has been busy in China negotiating a deal with Zhejian Youngman Lotus Automobile to start building Saab cars in the world’s most populous nation. You may recall that Saab already has a deal with Chinese dealer group Pang Da Automobile but now all three parties have signed a new non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see some $350 million injected into Saab's coffers.
The latest deal will see Youngman invest $195 million in Saab in return for a 29 percent in Saab’s parent company, Spyker, while Pang Da will increase its original investment to $156 million for a previously agreed upon 24 percent stake.
The deal will also see Saab cars manufactured in China within the next two years, with Youngman handling the production side and Pang Da taking care of distribution. This phase would require the development of separate Chinese joint manufacturing and distribution projects.
For the manufacturing unit, Youngman is set to take a 45 percent stake, Saab an equal 45 percent stake, and Pang Da the remaining 10 percent. For the distribution unit, meanwhile, Youngman would hold 33 percent, Pang Da 34 percent and Saab 33 percent.
The deal is still subject to approval from the Chinese government and the European Investment Bank, and as we saw with the previous deal with Hawtai, things can easily go awry. Additionally, only a non-binding agreement has been signed so even the specifics of the deal could change.
Unfortunately for Saab, production at its main plant in Trollhattan, Sweden is still on hold as the automaker scrambles to secure cash to pay its suppliers.