In Sweden it's quiet about Saab, at least on the surface. Time for us to take a look at the potential buyer from China. So far we only knew from Youngman rather unattractive small cars in the low price segment. Youngman wants more. The Youngman Group's website already reveals a lot about the plans.
Some links may not work, but that is the normal situation for Chinese companies. Web appearances are almost always 90% stories, so open construction sites, perfect appearances like in the west are the exception. Whether the Youngman works shown really exist or not can only be answered on site. A “European Automobile City” has been firmly planned for months - but is still under construction. We do not know what is behind this. Youngman goes West, one way or another. So it seems - with or without Saab.
The product range of the Chinese will be upgraded. Under the Lotus Youngman brand, an ambitious SUV, which is developed with the partner Lotus. Actually it should celebrate its premiere 2012 with the possible lotus sale, which is denied again and again, could be a delay. Saab would be just in time to fill the potential development gap.
The measure of all things, the mother of all SUVs in China, is the Porsche Cayenne. And of course the SUV, originally as "Lotus APX study“Born in 2006, on the Porsche. In addition to the rather boring bread-and-butter engines bought by Mitsubishi, there could be a prestigious bi-turbo V6 from Lotus Quelle. It should then produce 300 hp and catapult the SUV forward with a torque of 360 NM.
Even more prestigious, of course, would be an SUV with the Saab Griffin on the hood. The Chinese in the megacities are crazy about lifestyle off-road vehicles, especially from European brands. The Saab 9-4x would not have gone to Europe or the United States for the most part. The largest share was already pre-ordered by Pang Da for the market in China. If it had not stopped production, Saab would not have slipped into insolvency, then the Saab production share in Mexico from the fall of 2011 would have been fully met.
Unfortunately, the Chinese specifications did not grab it for production start. Thus, the Saab 9-4x remained a very exclusive product with minimal quantities. Insiders speak of three-digit production figures. One of these exclusive vehicles is to be converted to European requirements in the Taunus.
SUVs are a trend in China, and the Lotus Youngman strategy is clearly in the premium segment. Today you still build small cars, then middle class, and at some point you have plants in Europe. That's the big plan. There are still worlds between desire and reality. The SUV from Youngman is just a step, we should not be fooled. Saab Know How could help to achieve ambitious goals faster.
When Mahindra comes in the end and buys Saab, then it is a setback for the Chinese, but not a catastrophe. Very pragmatically, one would look for a new partner to bring the SUV on the market. That's for sure.