Audacious Chinese Saab bid could yet see it revived
In yet another twist in the never-ending Saab tale, the beleaguered (and certified dead) company could yet be revived by a Chinese company.
According to Reuters news agency, Zhejang Youngman Lotus has made a solid £282m bid for Saab, and the bid includes a plan to build an all-new BMW 3 Series rivaling 9-3 saloon. Will this ever end?
Despite Saab being asset stripped recently, most poignantly with the online sale of its entire heritage fleet, there's still some value in the Swedish brand, it seems.
However, the bid has reportedly received a lukewarm response from Saab's receiver, who wishes to sell parts of the company rather than the whole.
That's because Saab is worth less than the sum of its parts, like a broken Daihatsu Copen, and the receiver is naturally keen to recoup as much money as possible from selling the company off; Saab has amassed substantial debts.
An unidentified source told Reuters that Youngman's bid, if accepted, will see production re-commence at Saab's Trollhattan factory.
Youngman would circumvent the issue that scuppered the original rescue deal - that GM wouldn't allow use of its technology, which underpinned Saab's cars - by resurrecting the old 9-3 to start with, which doesn't use GM parts.
And presumably that can only mean the first 9-3, introduced in 1998 - the one not based on the Vauxhall Vectra. Yikes.
Plus, because Youngman owns the rights to build Lotus cars for Proton, it would build a few of those in Trollhattan too.
It would then set about finishing Saab's PhoeniX platform, on which it would develop a new 9-3, though according to the Reuters source, that's at least 18 months and a lot of investment away.
We're off to see a man about a dog...