Is Beijing the new Trollhatten? And does Hyundai really hold the key to the future of Saab?
These are just two of the questions I’m left pondering following yesterday’s news that Koenigsegg Group had backed out of an agreement to purchase Saab from General Motors.
The Beijing connection comes by way of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp (BAIC), which has been eagerly shopping around for a cut priced western based car maker of late. And, as those close to General Motors’ dealings on the Saab sale reveal, it appears the very last hope for the financially embattled Swedish car maker.
“Without a fresh injection of capital in the next 100 days, we can likely say goodbye to Saab as we know it today,” was how one senior European automotive industry analyst put Saab’s dire financial position to me this morning.
Right now it’s unclear what will transpire.
BAIC had, of course, already expressed its interest in Saab by announcing it was willing to fund a minority of the capital Koenigsegg was seeking to raise. The plan, say those in the know, was for Koenigsegg to act primarily as a go between in talks with General Motors, the Swedish government and European Union and for BAIC to eventually gain control of Saab once the deal and a government based financial rescue package had been sealed.