With all the drama that has gone on with Saab, it seems like most of us in the automotive industry have written them off. This whole process has got to be exhausting for Saab fans. Many are still holding out hope though that Saab will emerge intact.
It’s easy to forget that an administrator-led court process is still being undertaken, and that there are multiple bidders. Saab isn’t technically dead, and there apparently is a lot of interest in the brand.
Automotive News is reporting that the various options are being evaluated by administrators right now, and that all parties want to restart production. Companies mentioned include China’s Youngman Group (who was supposed to save Saab last year), Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra and a private equity company from Turkey called Brightwell Holdings.
Also in the mix is an investor consortium from Japan and China. Out of all those the best one for Saab’s future sounds like it would be Youngman or Mahindra & Mahindra, which has actual experience in the automotive sector. BMW was rumored to be in the running a while back, but we haven’t heard anything more than rumors. At this point it is just speculation about the bidders involved; only Youngman has stated publicly its desire to purchase Saab. Last week, a deadline for submitting offers passed.
The bankruptcy administrators want to make a decision on who to sell the company to before the summer. That means a decision should be just around the corner. Swedish newspaper The Local reported today that Youngman’s offer is worth about $492 million, and it includes $1.47 billion in investment to develop the next-generation 9-3 and restart production at the Trollhattan plant in Sweden. $492 million is reportedly the least Saab’s administrators. Younman’s offer sounds like a good bid for the company. We’ve got a little while left before we know who will end up with Saab though.