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  • Saab announces new Saab 9-1, 9-6X, and 9-7 to be developed backed by new capital

    Today, Saab announced development of three new Saab models, the Saab 9-1, Saab 9-6X, and Saab 9-7. These vehicles would be funded by new capital from mainland China.

    Previously on June 13th, Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., Ltd. (Pang Da) and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., Ltd. (Youngman) had signed a memorandum of understanding for the capital injection of €245 million (US$500.2 million, 3100 million Swedish krona) but this development creates a binding agreement, which is subject to government approvals. The capital would be used to create a 50 percent joint venture between the mainland Chinese companies, Saab Automobile, and Swedish Automobile (formerly Spyker).

    The announcement of the new model lines comes as a sharp contrast to recent news of production woes and need for short term cash. Saab issued a press release but did not specify the terms of control of the joint venture, other than that it would be 50% owned by Saab and Swedish Automobile. In 1990, the 50% ownership of Saab Automobile by General Motors gave GM control of the company, in essence, greater than 50% control. However, with the new joint venture, Saab will be responsible for "controlling and managing the design, the development and testing process to the start of production and providing other necessary technical and quality control support." Design functions would be based in Trollhättan.

    It was not disclosed how the 9-6X differs in size from the 9-4X but the number four is not popular with ethnic Chinese due to the pronunciation of the word in Chinese being similar to the word "death". The time required to develop new models could signal that the 9-6X could eventually replace the 9-4X as the 9-4X was originally planned to be produced in 2009.

    The new 9-6X and 9-7 models are presumable larger cars or vehicles and is thought to satisfy market demands in the People's Republic of China and the United States while the smaller 9-1 will be to address global market demands, according to Saab.

    Saab's press release of July 4, 2011 is reproduced below.

    Trollhättan, Sweden: Swedish Automobile N.V. (SWAN) and Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) today announced the signing of final agreements with Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., Ltd. (Pang Da) and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., Ltd. (Youngman), thereby converting the non-binding memorandum of understanding relating to the equity investment of Pang Da and Youngman announced on 13 June 2011 into binding agreements subject to regulatory and other third party approvals. Moreover, Saab Automobile announces a conditional agreement with Zhejiang Youngman Passenger Car Group Co., Ltd. (Youngman Passenger Car) on the formation of a Sweden-based joint venture company for the development of three new product Saab models (NPJV).

    The non-binding MOU announced on 13 June 2011 between SWAN, Saab Automobile, Pang Da and Youngman in terms of which Pang Da and Youngman will make an equity investment in the total aggregate amount of EUR 245 million in SWAN have now been incorporated in binding agreements, while the parties continue working towards execution of binding agreements for a strategic alliance consisting of a tripartite distribution joint venture and a tripartite manufacturing joint venture for Saab-branded and child brand vehicles in China. The agreements are subject to approval from relevant authorities. The agreements allow for the return of Mr. Vladimir Antonov as a shareholder/financier of SWAN and Saab Automobile which the parties expect as soon as the parties at interest have cleared him.

    The NPJV will be 50 percent owned by Saab Automobile and 50 percent by Youngman Passenger Car, and forms the foundation for an expansion of the Saab product portfolio with three models which until now did not form part of Saab Automobile’s current and future product portfolio. As such the NPJV will focus on developing three completely new Saab vehicles: the Saab '9-1', Saab '9-6' and Saab '9-7'.

    Within the development process of these three new vehicle lines, Saab Automobile will be responsible for controlling and managing the design, the development and testing process to the start of production and providing other necessary technical and quality control support. For this, Saab Automobile will source existing capabilities and expertise from its state-of-the-art technical development department in Trollhättan. Youngman Passenger Car will be responsible for providing the necessary financial investments in the joint venture.

    The agreement on NPJV is also subject to approval from relevant authorities, which SWAN, Saab Automobile and Youngman Passenger Car hope to obtain timely. Victor Muller, CEO of SWAN and Saab Automobile said: "I am pleased to announce the signing of binding agreements (subject to obtaining regulatory approvals) with Pang Da and Youngman, as it underlines the confidence of all parties in a successful tripartite partnership. Establishing the New Product Joint Venture is a major step for both Saab Automobile and Youngman Passenger Car and marks the start of an exciting new partnership. This joint venture offers Saab Automobile the opportunity to develop models that were not envisaged nor funded in our original business plan: for instance, we will now be able to develop a small entry level Saab, a car that has long been on the top of our wish list."

    Mr. Pang Qingnian, CEO of Youngman, added: “The agreement on the New Product Joint Venture brings together the best of both worlds, merging the industrial and financial strength of Youngman Passenger Car with the state-of-the-art technical expertise of Saab Automobile. The Saab '9-6X' and Saab '9-7' will be key to enhancing the prestige of the Saab brand to an even larger group of customers in China and the US, while the entry level Saab '9-1' will appeal to urban motorists around the globe.”

    Mr. Pang Qinghua, CEO of Pang Da, commented: “I am very happy to have signed binding agreements with our partners, which further feeds my confidence in a successful future for Saab Automobile. We were already impressed with Saab’s current and planned product portfolio to date and with the addition of three new Saab models, the brand will be even better positioned to meet demand in markets around the world and China in particular.”

    Note to Editors:
    Saab, or Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft Company), was founded in 1937 as an aircraft manufacturer and revealed its first prototype passenger car 10 years later after the formation of the Saab Car Division. In 1990, Saab Automobile AB was created as a separate company, jointly owned by the Saab Scania Group and General Motors, and became a wholly-owned GM subsidiary in 2000. In February 2010, Spyker Cars N.V. of the Netherlands, acquired the company from GM as an independently-run business.

    Saab cars reflect the brand’s unique Scandinavian design ethic, which is fused with its aircraft engineering heritage. The company is a global premium car maker with a distinguished history of innovation. It is recognized for its pioneering role in turbocharging, as well as occupant safety and the introduction of flex-fuel technology through Saab BioPower. Saab Automobile AB currently employs approximately 3,700 staff in Sweden, where it operates world-class production and technical development facilities at its headquarters in Trollhättan, 70 km north of Gothenburg.
    This article was originally published in blog: Saab announces development of the new Saab 9-1, 9-6X, and 9-7 backed by new capital started by Dave T
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Golfhunter's Avatar
      Golfhunter -
      Very exciting !!
    1. cbmandly's Avatar
      cbmandly -
      My initial feeling when reading this regarding size was the the 9-4X would take on the X5 and be similar in size, while the 9-6X would take on the likes of the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes GL but then again we won't know till we see mules running around. I for one am thrilled at this news.As for the 9-7 ... the name suggest to me something along the lines of the BMW 7 series or the Audi A7 in terms of size. If they were going smaller I would have guessed a 9-6 name and then the 9-6X to be it's crossover mate, like the X6 to the 6 series. The 9-1 will most likely be Mini, BMW 1 series or Fiat 500 sized and that car should be a BLAST to drive!!!Can't wait to start seeing these things being tested and the future of SAAB ... just please please please make the interiors nicer!!!
    1. KarlGrabe's Avatar
      KarlGrabe -
      Here are MotorTrends comments on these developments:http://blogs.motortrend.com/saab-and...ere-16313.htmlScary reading, I hope the future looks a little brighter for Saab!
    1. hotsaaby's Avatar
      hotsaaby -
      Quote Originally Posted by cbmandly View Post
      My initial feeling when reading this regarding size was the the 9-4X would take on the X5 and be similar in size, while the 9-6X would take on the likes of the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes GL but then again we won't know till we see mules running around. I for one am thrilled at this news.As for the 9-7 ... the name suggest to me something along the lines of the BMW 7 series or the Audi A7 in terms of size. If they were going smaller I would have guessed a 9-6 name and then the 9-6X to be it's crossover mate, like the X6 to the 6 series. The 9-1 will most likely be Mini, BMW 1 series or Fiat 500 sized and that car should be a BLAST to drive!!!Can't wait to start seeing these things being tested and the future of SAAB ... just please please please make the interiors nicer!!!

      dont know which saab you have but theres nothing wrong with my interior
    1. hotsaaby's Avatar
      hotsaaby -
      can you please make a 4wd that has enough space in the rear to accommodate 2 dog crates and luggage - we cannot find anything to match our frontera 3.2 v6 5 dr for space (other than maybe a range rover which is way too expensive and i wouldnt drive one anyway)
    1. Shazam's Avatar
      Shazam -
      I've read in other articles, that the three new models mentioned will be developed/designed by Saab, but made in China by Youngman. I'm all for a real Saab again, but at the cost of Chinese manufacturing? Looks like I probably won't be interested in the new 9-1 (might be too small anyways), hopefully the 9-2 (or whatever they are going to call it) will fit my wants and needs... if they are around that long.
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