Muller’s effect has not been in vain. On 16 May 11, Spyker announced a new deal with China’s Pangda Automobile Trade Company. If approved by the Swedish Debt Office, the European Investment Bank and Chinese authorities, the deal will net Spyker an immediate cash infusion of US$42.5 million, in the form of purchase orders for Saab vehicles to be sold in China. A second order, worth $21.25 million, will follow. In the longer term, Pangda is seeking to purchase 24% share of Spyker for an estimated $92.3 million. The equity stake will pave the way towards Chinese manufacturing of Saab vehicles, as well as a new line of automobiles to be produced jointly between Saab, Pangda and a yet-to-be-named third partner.
While the proposed deal still faces regulatory approval, Spyker’s Muller is optimistic that it won’t get mired in the same bureaucratic red tape as the deal with Hawtai. Hawtai is a manufacturer, and the Chinese government is seeking to consolidate their automotive industries. This means that they want fewer automotive brands in the market and not more. Pangda, on the other hand, is a distributor, and is cash-rich from a $1 billion initial public offering held last month. The Chinese government must still approve any investment in foreign companies, but the deal is being presented as one between a foreign manufacturer and their Chinese distributor.