Saab is planning a global tour to introduce Chinese partners, new investor

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 4, 2011

Saab Automobile is planning an intense public relations campaign targeting major motor shows and media to introduce its latest partners in China, and possibly its new Russian investor Valdimir Antonov, too, Saab Cars North America’s spokesperson Michele Tinson said in a telephone interview.

The plan will also include Victor Muller, the company’s chairman. The campaign is said to be similar to Muller’s effort last spring to show that the company is still manufacturing vehicles.

However, the campaign will still be put on hold, awaiting the European Investment Bank’s approval on the sale of the company’s buildings, property and equipment to Antonov.

These assets are used by the bank as collateral for a 217 million euro loan to the company.

The government of Sweden has mentioned that it would guarantee the debt if the bank approves the release of the assets to the investor. In return, the Russian businessman would have a 30 percent stake of the company.

Similarly, the joint venture of Saab with Hawtai Motor Group, which is the company’s Chinese partner, also needs approval of several government agencies. The company is hopeful that the public relations blitz will commence in several weeks, Tinson disclosed.

Last year, the company stopped its production due to the unpaid bills to its suppliers, which refused to deliver components.

On Monday, parent company Spyker disclosed that it is planning to resume operations within a week after it was able to secure almost 60 million euros (about $90 million) in short-term funding.

Topics: saab, china

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