China's Youngman says it will invest in Saab ventures
Photo credit: GREGORY ROBINSON
Dutch sports car company Spyker Cars NV says it will form two joint ventures with China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. to build Saab-based cars and a luxury SUV under a framework agreement that will give Youngman a 29.9 percent share in Spyker.
Youngman was one of the Chinese companies that Spyker turned to for investment when it was trying to revive the Saab brand under its ownership.
After failing to get approval for the sale from General Motors, a former Saab owner, the deal with Youngman collapsed and on Dec. 19, Saab filed for bankruptcy.
Under terms of the agreement announced Monday, Aug. 27, the two companies will develop a range of upscale cars based on the Saab Phoenix platform, which is licensed to Youngman. The Chinese company will hold 80 percent of the shares in the brand, which has been dubbed Spyker Phoenix, while Spyker will hold 20 percent of the stock.
Both carmakers also said that they will invest in a joint venture to develop a luxury Spyker SUV, based on the D8 Peking-to-Paris concept model, first shown in 2006 at the Geneva auto show.
In a statement, Spyker said Youngman would invest 25 million euros, or about $31.3 million, in the project, granting it 75 percent of the shares, while Spyker would contribute the technology and retain 25 percent of the shares.
"With this framework agreement, Youngman and Spyker lay the foundation for an intense cooperation whereby we will pursue the objectives we each had in mind when we were forging our cooperation as partners in Saab Automobile AB. We clearly share the vision on how to shape Spyker's future as partners going forward," Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in the statement.
In addition to the two joint ventures, Youngman will pay $8.4 million for a 29.9 percent equity stake in Spyker and make a shareholder loan of $4.1 million to the Dutch carmaker.
Youngman bought licensing rights to Saab's Phoenix platform in 2011. The technology was designed by Saab to underpin the next-generation 9-3 model, which was never built. It was also used in the PhoeniX concept car, first unveiled at the 2011 Geneva auto show.
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