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Another Saab story: Chinese buy ailing Swedish carmaker

Chinese distributor Pang Da Automobile Trade and auto manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile have purchased Saab, the struggling 62-year-old Swedish automaker who proudly once marketed itself as "Built From Jets," for $142 million.

If the transaction is completed by Nov. 15, it will designate the second time Saab has been purchased in the past two years.

General Motors sold Saab to Swedish Automotive in early 2010 as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. Swedish Automotive is a Dutch company then known as Spyker, a high-end brand of hand-made sports cars. But Saab continued to struggle under the new ownership.

Another Saab story: Chinese buy ailing Swedish carmaker 1

China has become the largest market in the world for auto sales. Ford Motor sold its Swedish Volvo unit to Chinese automaker Geely in 2010 for $1.8 billion. Ford paid $6.4 billion for the company in 1999.

A different deal by a Chinese company to buy another GM brand, Hummer, fell through in 2010 and the unit was closed.

Saab hasn't been able to manufacture a car at its Swedish plant since April due to financial woes.

Saab still operates a network of U.S. dealers, but U.S. sales to have dropped to 4,612 year-to-date, with just 429 vehicles sold in September. As recently as 2003, it was selling more than ten times as many cars to U.S. buyers.


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