This is very bad. Remember the deal between Hawtai Motors and Saab? Collapsed. According to The Detroit News, the deal, which involved a 29.9 percent stake in Saab in exchange for $172 million, fell apart early Thursday morning. The problem was reportedly that Hawtai wasn't able to obtain all the stakeholder consent needed, forcing the Chinese automaker to terminate the pact. Saab and Hawtai are reportedly continuing to work on resurrecting a deal, but the Swedish automaker has said in a statement that the talks are no longer exclusive.

Meanwhile, Saab is still in talks with the European Investment Bank to complete a $41 million loan drawdown. Saab is reportedly waiting on the green light to sell some of its property, since the land is currently used as collateral with the Swedish National Debt Office. The battered brand has secured a $48 million Swedish government loan to keep the doors open for the short term, and the automaker is reportedly still looking to strike a deal with Russian investor Vladimir Antonov.

Will the collapse of the Hawtai Motors deal lead to the final demise of the rope-a-dope automaker? We're not so sure – Saab's been something of a financial Houdini over these last 18 months, and the automaker appears to have deals cooking all over Europe. Either way, we're guessing that Priority Number One at Saab is finding a new Chinese partner to help secure the future of the company.


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  • 34 Comments
      Synthono
      • 3 Years Ago
      On the up side, they won't be reduced to selling $10,000 SUVs.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have said since the beginning that SAAB would be a great addition to the BMW fold. They seem to want to continue to expand their lineup, well this is how they could do it without diluting the BMW brand. BMW stays in the higher-end with (mostly larger) RWD cars. SAAB goes after the mid-level with (mostly mid-sized) FWD cars. Mini stays small, and also sticks with FWD. And there could be a little overlap with a small SAAB sharing a platform with a slightly larger Mini. And possibly on the higher end of SAAB, they could share a platform with the 5-series. BMW, Volvo is already gone... I see SAAB as your next best choice.
      chest rockwell
      • 3 Years Ago
      How far does $41mil really get a car company these days?
        EnzoHonda
        • 3 Years Ago
        @chest rockwell
        Well, $2.9 Billion (with a "B") is Chrysler's *advertising* budget for this year alone. So, $41 mil could probably... do absolutely nothing, and just be more money that gets lost when the company finally closes. At least Pontiac, Saturn, etc, all had a pretty dignified end.
        Car Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @chest rockwell
        Great point. 41 Million is probably less than one month's operating cost. They probably need 10x the amount to keep going until some product can come out. The nails are going into the coffin.
      Harry
      • 3 Years Ago
      Damn! I hope they can pull through! Come on Saab you can make it!!! Go Saab!!!!!
      hmmwv
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man this sucks, with SAAB's questionable profitability I can imagine it'd be hard to convince all the stakeholders to approve the deal. Maybe they can go with one of the state owned automaker which doesn't have to answer to a board. BAIC, maybe?
      jbm0866
      • 3 Years Ago
      An established Swedish automaker has to go to the Chinese and Russians for help because nobody else in the world is in a position to do it. Would anyone predict this 20 years ago? Signs of the times..
        Korben Dallas
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        What do you mean by that "has to go"? Everyone in this world, if they go anywhere, go to the Russians and the Chinese first. The structure of the todays world is "Russia+China+some other countries". There's no "has to" involved in "going to Russia or China". There's simply nowhere else one can do. If Saab decided to turn to USA or some other third world country for support - that would be a bizarre "has to" moment. The Russia and China step, on the other hand, is perfectly natural and expected. If you are not in Russia these days, you are nobody.
      Robert Fahey
      • 3 Years Ago
      When I was a little kid, I could recognize the sound of the neighbor's Saab coming up the street. It would stink to lose a brand with a personality, though its personality already went AWOL a few years back.
      HuskerBadger
      • 3 Years Ago
      And exactly what would a Chinese partner be buying anyway? Does Saab even have a 100 dealers in it's US network? Of those, how many are buried in the back corner of a GM (Cadillac, Buick or GMC) dealership? What BYD, Geely and the others really want is an established dealer network to launch their brands in the US. It's exactly why Fiat went so hard for Chrysler. Hundreds of dealers already in place with trained staff and operating service departments. Plus Chrysler still offered a half-ass decent product line and factories to build from.
        You guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HuskerBadger
        I think Saab is a dead duck - more or less citing the reasons you stated.
      4 String
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really hope Saab doesn't go under. I mean, they were actually doing some good R&D for a while under Spyker with the electric 9-3's. Overall, the strategy was too ambitious and was not in touch with the market (at least with the current platform 9-5) nor was it in touch with Saab's amount of capital (or lack thereof). We'll just have to wait and watch as the EKG machine's beeps waver.
      MANARC100
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saab is simply too small to exist by its self with the price point of its cars. All the engineering, development, global spider web of regulations and dealerships etc... If they are having problems making it now with the totally new 9-4x and 9-5 that was handed to them from Old GM and an almost done 9-3. Just think in 5-6 years when this product is getting stale. There will be nothing new to come and Saab will die a slow death again. Maybe they could try an all AWD line up and try to become the higher end Subaru...but having to go toe to toe with MB, Lexus, Ininifty, etc they will get left in the dust.
      johnnyichiban
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dead brand walking.
      HuskerBadger
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saab is so deep into the death spiral now, that there's no way to stop the descent. Even if they were to line up a partner of any type, the terms would be so outrageous that in six months, they would be in even worse financial straits. No one is going to loan them money at a rate less than that of the best loan sharks.
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