Monday

For Saab, what's behind door #2? or is it #3? Survival?

Cash-shy Swedish carmaker Saab is still out panhandling it seems, but maybe things are looking more hopeful.

After the Russian banker (Vladimit Antonov) fell through, after the Chinese company (Hawtai) didn't happen, now they're on to "door #3" as Monty Hall might have said under similar circumstances on his "Let's Make a Deal" tv show.

This time it's Pang Da Automobile, according to Automotive News. The Chinese dealership chain that apparently is talking about a $150-155 million deal that would give Saab enough money to reopen its idled assembly plant (it's been closed over 45 days now) and give Pang Da sales rights in China plus 24% (originally announced as 29.9%) of the Saab company.

Rumor was that Saab was talking with several Chinese companies, looking for that apparently elusive white knight with cash, and Pang Da is no slouch. They just pulled off a billion dollar IPO that was the second largest Chinese IPO this year. Cash? They got it alright. But is it enough?

Saab is calling it "medium term funding" which has to make you wonder what long term funding would mean. Still, the Chinese company is a dealership chain so their initial talks give them a chance to buy 40 million euros worth of vehicles immediately, which will line Saab's pockets for at least a little while, during which all the rest of the ducks can be put in a row to finalize the "memorandum of understanding" that the two corporations have signed.

Meanwhile, if you are in the market to buy a new or used car, think twice before you buy Saab. Here today, gone tomorrow could mean "stuck" for you. On the other hand, maybe you'll get a heck of a deal on that used Saab?