China Youngman Automobile Group Co., Ltd.
(trading as Youngman)
|Headquarters||Jinhua, Zhejiang, China|
|Products||Automobiles, buses and trucks|
Youngman (officially China Youngman Automobile Group Co., Ltd.) (Chinese: 青年汽车集团) is a Chinese manufacturer of automobiles, buses and trucks located in Jinhua, Zhejiang province. The company was founded in 2001 by Pang Qingnian.
“Youngman” is an English literalization of the name of the company’s founder, Pang Qingnian.
Youngman was founded in 2001 by Pang Qingnian. In the early-2000s the company formed joint ventures with two German companies – a bus manufacturing venture with Neoplan (at the time known as Gottlob Auwärter GmbH & Co. KG) and a truck manufacturing venture with MAN. After increasing of orders, the manufacturer has built plants in the cities of Jinan, Tai’an, Lianyungang, Quzhou and some other places to meet the high number of orders.
In September 2006 Youngman established a joint venture with the Iranian state-owned carmaker Iran Khodro for the manufacture of Iran Khodro’s Samand and Soren models at Youngman’s Tai’an plant, with parts supplied by PSA Peugeot Citroën.
In November 2006, Youngman became the official Chinese importer for the British sports car maker Lotus Cars. In another joint-venture with the Lotus Group which was closed in December 2008, Youngman is assembling Lotus and Europestar branded cars in Guangdong for the Domestic Chinese and export market. The units receive a Chinese independent brand to differentiate itself from the British sports car models. With the Lotus joint venture, Youngman is engaged in secondary activities as the exclusive importer of American automotive brand ZAP!. Both brands had its China debut at the Beijing International Auto Show in 2009.
In 2007, Youngman acquired the American electric car maker Detroit Electric, with the intention of manufacturing vehicles for the North American market. In May 2008 it was reported that Youngman had signed two major agreements with the Malaysian carmaker Proton. The first was for the import of 30,000 Proton Gen-2 models from Malaysia to China over two years, to be sold under the EuropeStar marque as the RCR. The second was a licensing deal for Proton’s Lotus-designed Campro engine, whereby Proton would sell 150,000 complete knock down units to Youngman over the subsequent six years.
In June 2010 Youngman announced that it would be making an investment of CNY 4 billion in the construction of new manufacturing facilities in Haining, Zhejiang Province, for the production of passenger cars, alternative energy powertrain systems, vehicle bridges, transmissions and inner and exterior auto components.
On 28 October 2011 it was reported that Youngman and the Chinese automotive retailer Pang Da Automobile Trade Co had agreed a joint 100-millionEuro (USD140 million) takeover of the Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile and its United Kingdom dealer network unit from Swedish Automobile, with Youngman and Pang Da taking 60 and 40 percent stakes respectively.
Both Chinese companies pledged to invest 610 million euros ($844 million), prompting a court to extend the manufacturer’s protection against creditors.
In December 2011 General Motors (GM) blocked the Chinese buy out, since GM has technology licenses in SAAB.
Saab’s restructuring process was granted, and the plan was that in 2014 the company would have had a positive equity. The restructuring process would have removed 500 employees from Saab, saving about €100,000.00, according to the restructuring plan. General Motors rejected the deal with Youngman and Pang Da on 7 November 2011, although unsuccessful discussion to convince GM continued for a month. On 19 December 2011, chairman Victor Muller was forced to file Saab Automobile for bankruptcy following the failed buyout by a Chinese consortium, which was blocked by former parent GM to prevent technology transfer.
On 6 March 2012 an Indian news paper reported that at least two companies have placed bids for complete SAAB Automobile buy out. These are India‘s Mahindra and Mahindra and China‘s Youngman. It is reported that these bids are in the range $300 million to $400 million.
Spyker joint ventures
In August 2012, Youngman agreed to acquire 29.9% of the Dutch luxury sportscar maker Spyker N.V. for €6.7 million, and the companies agreed to form two new joint ventures. The Spyker P2P joint venture will focus on the development of a new luxury sports utility vehicle, with ownership split 75:25 between Youngman and Spyker respectively. The Spyker Phoenix joint venture will focus on the development of a range of premium cars based on Saab’s Phoenix platform, with ownership split 80:20 between Youngman and Spyker respectively.
Youngman sells passenger cars in China under the Youngman-Lotus marque. Current products include the L3 and L5 models, and are engineered with the assistance of the United Kingdom-based Lotus Engineering.
Youngman currently produces coaches and trucks in collaboration with the Germany-based MAN Truck & Bus. Coaches are sold under the Youngman and Neoplan marques.Trucks are sold under the Youngman and MAN marques.