Saab celebrated 25 years of drop top motoring yesterday, but today there isn’t much to celebrate as the Detroit news is reporting that talks to partner with Hawtai Motors has crumbled. The Chinese automaker wasn’t able to secure stakeholder concent to get a 29.9 percent stake in Saab in exchange for $172 million.
This is not good news, however it doesn’t necessarily spell the end of the long and dramatic saga of Saab. Hawtai and Saab are reportedly still trying to resurrect the deal and on top of that, Saab is supposedly in talks with the European Investment Bank for a $41 million loan drawdown. It already has a $48 million loan to sell new cars in the short term, but Saab is still looking for some long term security. Apparently they’re ven willing to strike a deal with shady Russian businessman and former Spyker Chairman Vladamir Antonov. In fact, Antonov was reportedly the reason why the original Saab-Spyker deal was stalled for so long last year.
In any event, should the Hawtai deal fail completely it seems like Saab has some plan B’s and even some plan C’s in order, so don’t worry too much Saab fans – yet. Besides, with Saab currently developing a new 9-3 and a Audi A1 fighter, it’s unlikely they would continue working on new product when the brand may not exist in the near future.[Detroit News]