The path to security and success for the reborn Saab has been fraught with danger, but news out of Trollhattan this week is that new funding has been locked in - along with three new models.
According to a Saab statement released today, the European Investment Bank has approved the 28 million euro sale of 50.1 percent of Saab's property unit to an investment consortium.
While easing pressure from nervous suppliers - and restarting production on the new 9-5 range - the new funds will go towards the development of three new Saab models with Chinese partners Zhejiang Youngman Passenger Car Group, and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co.
"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," Victor Muller, chief executive of Saab Automobile and Swedish Automobile said.
The companies will form a Swedish-based joint-venture company, where development will begin on the long-reported 9-1 small car, along with larger 9-6X and 9-7 models.
"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," Youngman CEO Pang Qingnian said.
Little is known about the two larger models, although it is likely that the 9-6X will enter above the new 9-4X as a large SUV and we'd expect the 9-7 to be a new large sedan above the 9-5.
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