Youngman (officially China Youngman Automobile Group Co., Ltd.) (Chinese: 青年汽车集团) is a Chinese manufacturer of buses and trucks located in Jinhua, Zhejiang province.[3] The company was founded in 2001 by Pang Qingnian and also used to manufacture automobiles. However, its passenger car business appears to have ceased operation by mid-2015.[4]

China Youngman Automobile Group Co., Ltd.
(trading as Youngman)
FounderPang Qingnian
ProductsAutomobiles, buses and trucks
Number of employees
Approx 4,000[2]


"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 an increase 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 assembled 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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[5]

In June 2010 Youngman had 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.[6] It is unclear what has happened to this manufacturing site since Youngman exited the passenger automobile business.

The Proton-Youngman joint venture contract expired in 2012, but Youngman continued to unofficially produce Proton's products up until early 2015.[4] Between mid-2009 and February 2015, Youngman Lotus had reported total production figures of 196,234 rebadged CKD GEN-2 and Persona units, of which 189,872 were reportedly sold.[7][N 1] However, by mid-2015, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) stopped reporting Youngman Lotus sales numbers because they were “way off” from registration numbers.[4] Youngman Lotus had ceased production and sales altogether by mid-2015.[4] In February 2015, Proton announced that they would revive their joint venture with Fujian-based Goldstar, and would not renew their contract with Youngman.[8][9]


On 28 October 2011 it was reported that Youngman and the Chinese automotive retailer Pang Da Automobile Trade Co had agreed a joint 100-million Euro (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.[10][11][12]

Both Chinese companies pledged to invest 610 million euros ($844 million), prompting a court to extend the manufacturer's protection against creditors.[13]

In December 2011 General Motors (GM) blocked the Chinese buy out, since GM has technology licenses in SAAB.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16][17]

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.[18]

On 13 June 2012 it was announced that the National Electric Vehicle Sweden had bought Saab Automobile's bankruptcy estate.[19]

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.[20][21] 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.[21] 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.[21]


Passenger cars

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.[22][23]

Products are listed as below:

Coaches and trucks

Youngman currently produces coaches and trucks in collaboration with the German MAN Truck & Bus. Coaches are sold under the Youngman and Neoplan marques.[24] Trucks are sold under the Youngman and MAN marques.[25]

  • JNP6120GR, JNP6120BEV1 and JNP6150GR - single deck buses based on Neoplan Centroliner platform
  • JNP6120BEV1 - trolley buses based on Neoplan Centroliner
  • JNP6250G - multi-articulate bus based on Neoplan Twinliner
  • JNP6180GM - single articulate bus based on Neoplan Twinliner


  1. Does not include sales of rebadged CBU GEN-2/Persona units, or Youngman Lotus' indigenously designed models.


  1. "Automobiles - China Youngman Automobile Group Co., Ltd". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  2. "Corporation profile". China Youngman Automobile Group. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  3. "Saab courting several Chinese manufacturers". China Car Times. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  4. Lei Xing (20 July 2015). "Industry Reshuffling Unavoidable". Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  5. "EMERGING MARKETS ANALYSIS: A Chinese cure for the 'Malaysian Patient'?". Just Auto. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  6. "Youngman Auto to heavily bet on new-energy vehicle". Gasgoo. 26 June 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  7. "Statistics - Sales database search". 27 March 2016. Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  8. Jonathan James Tan (25 February 2015). "Proton revives deal with Goldstar to produce cars, engines in China – the end of Youngman-Lotus?". Driven Communications. Archived from the original on 28 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  9. Gregory Sze (17 April 2015). "Proton, Lotus Group and Goldstar sign JV agreement – to develop Lotus-branded passenger cars for China". Driven Communications. Archived from the original on 28 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  10. Jolly, David (28 October 2011). "Saab Sputters On, Saved by 2 Chinese Automakers". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  11. "Sweden's Saab heads for Chinese owners after rescue bid". Reuters. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  12. "Saab chief Victor Muller reflects on sale of car maker". BBC News. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  13. Kinnander, Ola (1 November 2011). "Saab Auto Clinches $844 Million Lifeline From China's Pang Da, Youngman". Retrieved ?. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. "General Motors is opposing Saab deal again". 18 December 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  15. "Saabs rekonstruktion beviljad - 500 jobb ska bort" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. Fröberg, Jonas (7 November 2011). "GM säger nej till Saab:s Kinaaffär". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  18. "Tata Motors places bid for Saab Automobile: Report – The Times of India". Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  20. Kreijger, Gilbert (27 August 2012). "Chinese to help Spyker create Saab-based upmarket car". Reuters. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  21. "China's Youngman invests €10m in Spyker, sets up joint ventures". Dutch News. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  22. "Youngman's Lotus L5 gets a facelift for 2011". China Car Times. 20 January 2011. Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  23. "Lotus vehicle technology engineering company". China Youngman Automobile Group. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  24. "About us". Youngman Neoplan Coach. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  25. "The company introduced". Young-Man Automotive Co. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
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