China's Youngman has worked out a deal to buy Saab's new car platform.

The rights to what is probably Saab's most valuable intellectual property have been sold to the Chinese automaker that had hoped to invest in the now-bankrupt Swedish brand.

China's Youngman said today that it has purchased Saab's "Phoenix" vehicle architecture, a homegrown platform the defunct automaker had planned to use for its next-generation 9-3.

Youngman's spokeswoman, Rachel Pang, told Automotive News China today that the Chinese firm has already gone through the motions of setting up a firm in Sweden to develop new cars based on the Phoenix platform.

Not much is known about the Phoenix platform other than that it was to underpin Saab's next premium compact 9-3 sedan. The platform was said to be unrelated to any prior General Motors-based designs. The Phoenix platform was first shown to the public as part of a similarly-named show car Saab unveiled at last year's Geneva Motor Show (pictured).

Youngman had hoped to take part in developing new Saab vehicles based on the architecture, but the Chinese firm was blocked by former Saab owner GM from taking part in any deal that could grant it access to the Detroit automaker's platforms. GM, which owned Saab until it was acquired in 2009 from Spyker, retained enough preferred shares that it was able to veto any investment it wanted.

Whether Youngman will be able to acquire the rights to the Saab name, badging and factory is unknown, however.


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