Press Release: Swedish Automobile, Saab Automobile, Pang Da And Youngman Convert Non-Binding MoU On Equity Investment Into Binding Agreement And Agree On Additional New Product Joint Venture Subject To Regulatory Approvals

Trollhättan, Sweden: Swedish Automobile N.V. (SWAN) and Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) today announced the signing of final agreements with Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., Ltd. (Pang Da) and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., Ltd. (Youngman), thereby converting the non-binding memorandum of understanding relating to the equity investment of Pang Da and Youngman announced on 13 June 2011 into binding agreements subject to regulatory and other third party approvals. Moreover, Saab Automobile announces a conditional agreement with Zhejiang Youngman Passenger Car Group Co., Ltd. (Youngman Passenger Car) on the formation of a Sweden-based joint venture company for the development of three new product Saab models (NPJV).

The non-binding MOU announced on 13 June 2011 between SWAN, Saab Automobile, Pang Da and Youngman in terms of which Pang Da and Youngman will make an equity investment in the total aggregate amount of EUR 245 million in SWAN have now been incorporated in binding agreements, while the parties continue working towards execution of binding agreements for a strategic alliance consisting of a tripartite distribution joint venture and a tripartite manufacturing joint venture for Saab-branded and child brand vehicles in China. The agreements are subject to approval from relevant authorities. The agreements allow for the return of Mr. Vladimir Antonov as a shareholder/financier of SWAN and Saab Automobile which the parties expect as soon as the parties at interest have cleared him.

The NPJV will be 50 percent owned by Saab Automobile and 50 percent by Youngman Passenger Car, and forms the foundation for an expansion of the Saab product portfolio with three models which until now did not form part of Saab Automobile’s current and future product portfolio. As such the NPJV will focus on developing three completely new Saab vehicles: the Saab ‘9-1’, Saab ‘9-6’ and Saab ‘9-7’.

Within the development process of these three new vehicle lines, Saab Automobile will be responsible for controlling and managing the design, the development and testing process to the start of production and providing other necessary technical and quality control support. For this, Saab Automobile will source existing capabilities and expertise from its state-of-the-art technical development department in Trollhättan. Youngman Passenger Car will be responsible for providing the necessary financial investments in the joint venture.

The agreement on NPJV is also subject to approval from relevant authorities, which SWAN, Saab Automobile and Youngman Passenger Car hope to obtain timely.

Victor Muller, CEO of SWAN and Saab Automobile said: “I am pleased to announce the signing of binding agreements (subject to obtaining regulatory approvals) with Pang Da and Youngman, as it underlines the confidence of all parties in a successful tripartite partnership. Establishing the New Product Joint Venture is a major step for both Saab Automobile and Youngman Passenger Car and marks the start of an exciting new partnership. This joint venture offers Saab Automobile the opportunity to develop models that were not envisaged nor funded in our original business plan: for instance, we will now be able to develop a small entry level Saab, a car that has long been on the top of our wish list.”

Mr. Pang Qingnian, CEO of Youngman, added: “The agreement on the New Product Joint Venture brings together the best of both worlds, merging the industrial and financial strength of Youngman Passenger Car with the state-of-the-art technical expertise of Saab Automobile. The Saab ‘9-6X’ and Saab ‘9-7’ will be key to enhancing the prestige of the Saab brand to an even larger group of customers in China and the US, while the entry level Saab ‘9-1’ will appeal to urban motorists around the globe.”

Mr. Pang Qinghua, CEO of Pang Da, commented: “I am very happy to have signed binding agreements with our partners, which further feeds my confidence in a successful future for Saab Automobile. We were already impressed with Saab’s current and planned product portfolio to date and with the addition of three new Saab models, the brand will be even better positioned to meet demand in markets around the world and China in particular.

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  1. THIS is what we have been waiting for! Well done VM and ‘team’ and Griffen UP!!

  2. GREAT and exciting news !!!! 🙂
    Especially the 9-1 shall be very welcome in the future Saab-model-range. The 9-6X is less equivalent to the future, where efficiency and ecological care will be substantial for the survival of human being. 

    1. But the 9-6X could as well be the same size as todays 9-4X, whereas the next version of 9-4X will probably get a bit smaller. The same thing with 9-5 vs 9-7. I wouldn’t be surprised if the future version of the 9-5 is going to be the same size as todays 9-3, whereas the 9-3 would be smaller than it is today – hence the lack of mention of a 9-2 in this new deal…

      1. There could be an odd/even pattern here! If so, then it’ll be a 92x which will be a cute little eco-friendly hybrid 4×4 that’s greener than a green thing! (and tough enough to rally 😉 )

  3. This is great. I guess the 9-2 that VM talks about is still not in the business plan? My wife likes the new 9-5 and that is what I want too but a 9-2 would be great in Europe.

  4. Great news, great relief for all Saabisti!
    Thumbs up and keep on SAABING!

  5. While still “subject to approval…….”, this is by far the best news I’ve read over the last couple of months. I hope this plan works out to bring Saab the success it deserves.
    For now: well done to all involved.

    1. I’m writing up a big (read BIG) summary of everything as we speak.  More to come later…..

      But in summary, you can’t get any bigger in terms of future news for Saab.  This is huge and should set aside concerns any authorities have about Saab’s plans for the future.  We have plenty to do.

      1. That`s what I was hoping for! 🙂
        Thank`s a lot for all your work Swade!

    1. Don’t you think it’d be a nice thing to give Jason Castriota a chance before dissing him. Sure, we’ve seen his PhoeniX-concept, but it’s not possible to judge his talents after a concept car. I think he’ll literally move our minds with the new 9-3, and I guess he’d do just the same with a 9-1.

      1. My take on Jason Castriota is that he’s more in to sport cars and more suitable for a new Saab “Sonett” rather than a small Saab ie 9-1 of conventional design. But let’s be fair and wait for the upcoming 9-3. I surely hope that we will see a 9-3 “concept” this fall on one of the European car shows, Geneva, Frankfurt or Paris

  6. Dear Mr. Steven Wade , just read these wonderful news about 90 minutes ago and  I felt myself so well that a short time later I started a good telephone talk with my SAAB dealer , Mr. Abbenhaus , from Tönnemann Company in Coesfeld , Germany.-
    He is an always friendly and helpful guy and like me positive about SAAB’s future .  We will  meet on July ,13. , to talk seriously about buying a SAAB  9-5 -2.0 T-AERO in black colour with parchment leather inside . – Me and my wife  Karin think that  we will get ( it’s our 3. SAAB 9-5 from Tönnemann Company  ( NR. 9 in total since our brown and first SAAB  96 ) the best car we ever had ( in our opinion  the most beautiful and safest sportwagon in the world ).— 
    Best greetings from Germany  over to Trollhättan — Karin + Rudolf  Kaiser

    1. Mylene,

      As mentioned in another comment, below, I’m working on an article about this now, wanting to provide some bigger perspective of what this means. That article will probably come tomorrow (the reasons for the delay will become apparent when you see it).

      Basically speaking, though, it’s good news. Very good news. And with the secure plans it provides for our future operations, one would have to ask why are immediate decisions about our future still stalling?

      1. Thanks Steven, it’s not a good news, it’s far more than great news, and because of that I can’t wait till tomorrow for some more “Inside Saab” stories regarding this and I hope much more of the kind. Thanks for the great work here!

      2. Yes, like Mylene Angel-off said, it’s far more than great news. Now, the next best news will be hearing that the regulatory agencies and governments step back and allow this to happen. I can’t wait.

  7. Oh Steven, please do tell us the 9-7 is an MPV and not a Bentley-sized sedan!

  8. Dear Swade,

    Great news! I have never doubted that there will be place for a unique, less mainstream car company. People in general are more and more looking for products with which they can identify themselves. Great companies  like B&O, Apple have always stick to their original philosophy. Both Apple and B&O have gone through tough times but have come up on top! Same will happen with SAAB!

    1. Robert, you are absolutely spot on about Apple being a role model for Saab. Great companies hold tight to their brand philosophy’s core principles. Saab has wonderful core principles which are more aligned with where the world and people are today then ever before. 

  9. one more reason to have my 9000 Griffin repaired. 
    (still have to arrange an appointment…)

    great news! greater news would be, though, to hear/read that SAAB will restart production in THN. any news on that?

  10. Good news! But still it is a shame, that the EU and the Swedish government didn’t do anything to support SAAB! They spend billlions of money on nonsens, but miss to support an industry, which still is crucial for Europe’s future. As I mentioned before, there are many enterprises, which do very well at present, although they have been in deep crisis in former times: but with a little public money they came back to the road of success.

  11. Well done Saab, this would appear to be rather a big deal.  Lets hope we continue to see the pieces falling into place. 
    Thanks Swade.

  12. I was reading these news from internet with cell phone when driving with my Saab (yes I know it is not legal and wise…) 2 days ago and I needed to stop to gasoline station, because my hands started to shake and I couldn´t concertate to driving, it was so big and great news. I think Saab needs new model level names now; CHINear, VICTOR and VAero.

  13. Once again, China, the omnipresent, all-pervading opportunist, stands to profit on the backs of the “desperate”, shall we say? As long as they stand to profit from SAAB sales, I will not purchase another SAAB. Short-sighed, perhaps, as China has its hands in the manufacture of most things today. When possible, however, I will not continue to provide them with revenue, and in this regard, it’s possible!