2011 Saab 9-5
Here's the thing: Lofalk knows that Saab's troubles are so severe that no amount of "investment" can save it. He wants to see the company sold whole-hog. This is exactly what Pang Da and Youngman are hoping for, because they're not interested in putting their hard-won yuan into a failing company; they want to own the whole thing. Which is exactly what they propose -- and for the staggeringly small sum of $141 million.
December 2011 -- While finalizing the details of the sale, Pang Da drops out, leaving Youngman holding the bag. Maybe Pang Da got cold feet, or maybe the company realized that the chances of Chinese regulators approving the deal were pretty slim. Either way, Youngman can't quite shoulder the entire burden itself, so it drafts an unnamed Chinese bank to help out.
Meanwhile, back in Detroit, General Motors says that it won't support the sale of Saab to Youngman. Most of Saab's technology is owned by GM, and GM isn't exactly thrilled at the prospect of handing that tech over to Chinese investors -- mostly because China's enforcement of intellectual property law is about as lax as Michael Lohan's parenting skills.
Still with us? Good.
Lofalk understands that without GM's approval, there's not much for Saab to sell. In other words, Saab is doomed (again). And so, earlier today, Lofalk returned to his original plan, asking the Swedish courts to end Saab's reorganization. With little money in the bank, no vehicles rolling off the assembly line, and very iffy prospects for a sell-off, it looks like Saab may finally be headed to that great showroom in the sky.
Then again, we've typed that sentence before -- many times, in fact. Will this be the real end for Saab? Or, like most epic sagas (and soap operas), will it drone on? Stay tuned.