A last-minute rescue deal to save Saab is virtually certain to be blocked by the Chinese government
Jim Holder
11 October 2011

A last-minute rescue deal to save Saab is virtually certain to be blocked by the Chinese government, Autocar has learned, meaning the company is almost certain to be declared bankrupt – possibly as soon as later today.

Saab, which is currently in control of the courts while it applies to restructure, has been waiting on a £60 million loan from Chinese carmaker Youngman in order to pay wages.

In addition to that short-term loan, Saab is waiting on the Chinese government to approve a further £210m investment in Saab by Chinese car firms Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pangda.

However, Autocar has learned that the Chinese government is unlikely to ratify any investment or takeover of Saab as the sale does not include the acquisition of any new intellectual property rights. Former Saab owner GM already has a deal to transfer Saab's Epsilon production line and tooling to its Chinese partner firm SAIC.

Reports in Sweden suggest the administrator handling Saab's restructuring under court protection could pre-empt the Chinese government decision, which is not expected to be made formal until the end of this week at the earliest, and declare Saab bankrupt later today.

The Swedish government has already stated it won't bail Saab out.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    18 January 2017
    Despite receiving a cosmetic and mechanical refresh, Lexus's compact executive saloon still fails to provide much driving involvement
  • 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5h review
    First Drive
    18 January 2017
    Big-selling plug-in SUV gets a light refresh in the face of new challengers to offer decent economy but only average driving dynamics
  • Mini Countryman Cooper S
    First Drive
    18 January 2017
    All-new bigger Mini continues to make a curious, flawed crossover hatchback, though it’s more compelling to drive than some and more practical than it used to be
  • Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
    First Drive
    17 January 2017
    Plug-in petrol-electric Panamera makes a better case than ever to supplant the diesel best seller, but it still appeals more to the head than the heart
  • MX-5 RF 2.0 160
    First Drive
    17 January 2017
    The distinctive 'retractable fastback' roadster promises typical MX-5 dynamics coupled with better refinement. It achieves the former, but the latter isn't quite there yet