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Youngman is Saab’s New Hope for China Deal, Dagens Industri Says

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- China Youngman Automobile Group Co. is the new frontrunner for a deal with with Saab Automobile, the Swedish carmaker owned by Spyker Cars NV, Dagens Industri reported, citing unidentified sources.

Youngman, based in the Chinese city of Jinan, has been holding discussions with Saab for months, and has emerged as the prime candidate for an investment and production deal after Saab’s tentative agreement with Hawtai Motor Group ended May 12, the Swedish newspaper said.

Eric Geers, a Saab spokesman, didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Youngman, together with Great Wall Motor Co. and Jiangsu Yueda Group Co., on April 29 were the main candidates for signing an agreement with Saab before the Trollhaettan, Sweden-based carmaker selected Hawtai on May 3, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Saab is holding investment talks with “various” potential Chinese partners, Spyker said on May 12.

Saab first halted production on March 29 amid a payment dispute with component suppliers. Production will resume after additional funding is secured, Spyker said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Kinnander in Stockholm at okinnander@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net.

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