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Saab gets further Chinese boost

Struggling Swedish car brand, Saab has failed to receive further Chinese backing through a deal with Hawtai Motor Group.

Saab Phoenix concept car

Saab Phoenix concept car Image:SaabUK

Saab, now owned by Dutch firm Spyker Cars NV, was set to receive a €150m ($221m) investment boost from Hawtai to help pay off debts and resume production, which was stopped at the beginning of April after the company was unable to pay it bills to parts suppliers.

However, new reports would indicate that Hawtai's plan to  gain a 29.9% stake in Saab may have been blocked by China's government.  The deal was subject to approval from both the Chinese and Swedish authorities and it would appear that Hawatai were "unable to obtain all the necessary consents" to satisfy Chinese officials.

While the deal is not officially dead, according to reports, Spyker will now be forced to look for alternative partners. Editor of Automotive News China, Yang Jian stated that the deal would be good for Saab and Hawtai but suggested that it was unlikely because Hawtai was too small to be able to support the risk of taking on a failing car brand.

Hawtai would have become the second Chinese company to be associated with the brand.  In 2009, BAIC bought the 93 and 95 models and associated engine and production technology which is now being used to boost the company's model range.

Chinese car companies seem to have a particular liking for Swedish car brands.  In 2010, Hawtai and BAIC competitor, Geely Holding Group, agreed to buy Volvo cars from Ford for $1.5bn, opening new headquarters in Shanghai in January this year.


Tags: automotive industry, China, Corporate News, OEM and automotive

Published 11th May, 2011


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