Currently reading: Chinese firm makes Saab bid
Zhejang Youngman Lotus has made a £282m bid for bankrupt Saab, according to reports
2 mins read
6 February 2012

Chinese vehicle maker Zhejang Youngman Lotus has made an audacious £282m bid for the bankrupt Saab operation and wants to build the second-generation 9-3 alongside an unnamed new Lotus model, according to report from news agency Reuters.

The bid for whole of the Trollhattan operation was made at the beginning of last week, according to Reuters’ source, but the receivers are said not to be enthusiastic. It is understood that they want to sell Saab piecemeal because they believe they will have a better chance of raising more money for Saab’s creditors.

The Swedish Debt office – which recently paid off Saab’s European Investment Bank loan – now owns the rights to Saab’s parts operation and Saab Automobile Tools division. It claims these two operations are worth more than the £205m it is owed after the debt repayment.

Youngman’s wider plan is to build the two models for around 18 months, while development work is completed on Saab’s Phoenix platform and the new 9-3 models that would have been based on it.

Industry reports say that Youngman owns the rights to build and sell Lotus models in China. However, Proton’s new owners are still digesting Lotus’s revival plan and the British sports car maker could still be sold-off by the Malaysians.

There is also some mystery surrounding Youngman’s plans the build the 2003-model 9-3. Based on GM’s Epsilon 1 platform, Saab owned the rights to the car and sold them in late 2010 (along with the design rights to the old 9-5 and Saab’s old slant-four engines) to Beijing-based carmaker BAIC.


Find an Autocar review

Join the debate


6 February 2012

Will this story never end. Autocar please, please, please don't waste any time on this subject until something actually gets signed and money changes hands

6 February 2012

Arent we all bored to death of the Saga>? Let it die - it was already painful enough.

6 February 2012

[quote xxxx]Autocar please, please, please don't waste any time on this subject until something actually gets signed and money changes hands[/quote]

If a genuine offer has been made (even one with little chance of being accepted), I'm interested in hearing about it. But I take your point - there's been too much mere speculation these last few weeks/months.

6 February 2012

I was kinda missing news on the latest mascinations involving Saab. You've got to admire the persistance of the Chinese.

If this had been a tech company squabble I'd half-expect BYD to have been mistakenly sold a random copyright allowing them to block all sales of the current Insignia platform (Epsilon 2? I forget ) internationally.

Maybe if Bernie had been in charge .....

6 February 2012

The two on going sagas of the motor industry are now part of the same story!? Unbelievable!!!

I suspect the sources may have the story wrong though. I've seen spyshots on a Chinese website of an SUV that Lotus (based at Hethel) has developed for Youngman Lotus. Its based on the APX concept shown in 2006 to demonstrate the variable vehicle architecture, though a version of this platform will still go on to underpin the new range.

I think the Chinese firm has the rights to use the Lotus name in its branding in China, and Lotus is carrying out development work for them. However I doubt they have access to the current range. Then again MG Rover sold their Intellectual Property to SAIC before securing their future so its happened before...

I'm starting to hope that the Saab brand doesnt survive now, though hopefully something can be saved to help sustain jobs. It would also be interesting to see if the planned 9-3 could make it to market as something else.

6 February 2012

It isn't a bid for SAAB really is it?

The way I see it....

SAAB as a brand / what it was is dead. The majority of the talent base that was there is now gone and employed else where.

Left is a load of old SAAB technology and bits, which unless someone wants to make a recreation of an original 9-3, isn't worth a whole lot. The name is owned by someone else, like wise the technology beneath the cars they were producing when the company ceased, the factory and now the museum.

The only thing really left is the Phoenix platform and structure and the plans for it. Looking at the reports, it was worth saving and developing but that will (I am guessing inevitably) be done in China. Without the brains behind it though......

6 February 2012

I love Saab and would like to think the company has a future but think its unlikely. Personally, I'm getting fed up with the reports on this site to say someone has bid. Then nothing happens, GM has a grump, or whatever. Please don't tell us anything about Saab until its all signed. It's a bit like saying a football club has bid for a player.

6 February 2012

This speclation is regrettable as its obvious to all that Saab is dead and buried.I hope they leave it be and leave us with fond memories of a once iconic manufacturer.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review