The fateful year 2011. A rumor spread. Saab CEO Victor Muller had canceled the contract with the state-owned company BAIC in favor of Hawtai. But there is another variant. She says that Muller built on the entry of scandalist Vladimir Antonov and therefore wrote the BAIC degree in the wind.
Whatever the case, only Muller himself could provide the answer, but remains silent. Then as now, there is an unmistakable number of car manufacturers in China. It should be more than 100, including brands that nobody in the West has ever heard of. For a long time, provincial princes and tycoons considered it beneficial for their own image to own a car brand. However, the numbers produced are usually manageable, the vehicles do not meet international standards. Competitiveness is a foreign word and wild growth is a thorn in the side of the central government in Beijing. For years she looked for a remedy, tried to force the merger into larger units or to close unprofitable plants. Without success - so far.
With the gradual elimination of subsidies for battery and hybrid vehicles in connection with an overall weakening market, the long-awaited adjustment now appears to be taking place. The bankruptcy wave is on and it also hits brands that 2011 made its big appearance as alleged Saab rescuers.
Suspected Saab savior Hawtai Motors
Up until the spring of 2011, hardly anyone knew Hawtai Motor. If anything, the Chinese were the producers of a rather brazen Porsche Cayenne Copy noticed. In May Saab Automobile AB signed a strategic partnership, a delegation visited Trollhättan, but there was no close cooperation or purchase of shares. In August, Hawtai moved away from Saab to Proton, a company that is now part of the Volvo Geely group.
Could Hawtai have saved Saab? Probably not, because Hawtai was definitely too small. 2011 produced the brand only 56.364 cars, with a possible capacity of 300.000 vehicles. 2017 reached an all-time high of 129.232 units. In spring 2019 another plant was planned in Kenya, in July one burst bond Over $ 218 million, the company went bankrupt. Today nature is taking back the Hawtai works.
Scandal-ridden Saab rescuer Lotus Youngman
At the same time as Hawtai, Lotus Youngman took the stage as part of the China Youngman Auto Group. Founder Pang Quingnian made his billions with mines and ambitious visions. He wanted to build 2009 car plants in China and develop vehicles with the help of Lotus. Only a small part of the plans came true and Pang played an on / off game in Trollhättan. Sometimes Youngman was in, sometimes outside. Even after bankruptcy, 10 was still trying to get Saab's remains erwerben, but failed. The plan followed, along with Muller and Spyker Premium vehiclee to build on the Phoenix platform. The plan was not implemented because Pang failed to meet its financial commitments. In the years that followed, Youngman left a trail of blood on his European investments that went bankrupt because Pang never met his financial commitments.
Youngman Lotus has never been able to successfully establish itself on the Chinese market. 2011, the year of the planned entry into Sweden, was built for 35.335 cars. Four years later, it was only 11.581, then the national manufacturers' association took the company out of the statistics because of production figures that were hardly ascertainable.
The ambitious plan from 2009 to build 1.5 millions of vehicles per year was clearly missed. In the past few months, more and more companies in the Youngman Group have gone in insolvency, the trip into the car industry seems over. Pang Quingnian is considered scandalous in his home country. He has been blacklisted more than 20 times for "dishonesty" set. Saab would hardly have been in good hands with him.