Hawtai Motor Group said that Saab Automobile was unable to secure its investment not because it didn’t get the China government’s approval but due to “commercial and economic realities."
Hawtai said that it continues to consider as “top priority” the cooperation with Spyker Cars NV (the owner of Saab). Hawtai said that partnership options are still being studied.
On May 3, Hawtai agreed to invest 120 million euros ($171 million) for a stake of up to 29.9% in Spyker in a deal that would have eased a cash shortage that stopped production at Saab on March 29.
In addition, it plans to lend 30 million euros to Spyker, which said that the deal didn’t push through because the Chinese authorities didn’t approve it. In a statement, Richard Zhang, Hawtai's vice president, said that it believes it is the “best partner” to help Saab.
Tom Grimmer, an external spokesman for Hawtai, didn’t provide details on the failure of the previous plan with Spyker, which would have led to Saab’s return to China after being absent since 2008.
Under the deal, Hawtai would have built Saab vehicles locally for the Chinese market, beginning in 2013 with the upgraded 9-3 model. Saab said recently that it is continuing to work on securing short- and medium-term funding by meeting with "various" Chinese partners.