The Chinese charm offensive continues. One thing you have to concede to the investors from China, the PR machine is first cream and runs at full speed at every level. Today, Rachel Pang, the 29 year-old daughter of the founder and president of the design department of Youngman, gave an interview to Svenska Dagbladet.
Saab. What does Saab stand for in Rachel Pang's eyes? Saab is technology, safety and part of Youngman's strategy to own a premium brand.
Victor Muller. What was Rachel Pang's first impression of Muller? In February of last year, Rachel Pang met the Saab CEO in Shanghai. He was, she says, charismatic, passionate, an incredible entrepreneur. Hard to be impressed by him. Two months later she had less enjoyable talks with Muller. Despite a preliminary agreement, Muller negotiated behind the scenes with other manufacturers. He eventually chose Hawtai, which was a bad choice in retrospect.
Muller told her then personally his decision, just before he went to the press. For her, it was like breaking a love relationship. But the decision came from the Saab board.
Martin Larsson. A few weeks later, Martin Larsson contacted her. This time, they planned a solution with Pang Da and Rachel Pang hesitated first. Then followed the known scenarios, up to bankruptcy.
Youngman unreliable? Again and again, Youngman is accused of being unreliable. The absence of pledged cash forced the car maker finally into bankruptcy.
Rachel Pang says "We should remember that it was very bad for Saab back then. Victor Muller and Saab did not understand all Chinese rules. All major transfers must be approved by the NDRC". With the transfer of € 20 million, a limit was reached, the transfer of further sums required time and approval. The complex problem with GM was another point.
Still in contact with Muller? From time to time Rachel Pang exchanges messages with Victor Muller via text message.
Give up? Did Youngman think about giving up after the 19.12 bankruptcy? No, she says, not really. We have invested almost 50 million euros in Saab.
Youngman. For more than a year now, the Chinese have worked at Saab Investment, making them longer than any other party. If Saab had not decided for Hawatai, who knows how the story would have ended then. Some things in Youngman seem strangely half-baked, but could also be communication errors. Like the plans for the construction of cheap cars in Sweden.
Other facts are system conditioned. Like the great influence of the NDRC on every relevant economic decision. Do we like this constellation or not?
We can not be picky right now. The new owner is not elected democratically. The decision as to who the new owner will be will be in Stockholm. We can only wait.