IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thing just don't add up

The past days we have been told that Saab has trouble paying the suppliers. So far three suppliers have confirmed to the media that Saab has long due outstanding payments for services or parts delivered. First it was the advertising agency Lowe Brindfors, then the transport company DB Schenker and finally today the large components maker IAC. I have no reason not to believe them when they're saying that they haven't gotten paid.

So is Saab a remarkably bad payer? Or does the suppliers treat Saab differently than they would other customers?

According to, Saab has bad credit rating, but Saab is a good payer. The accounts receivable management company Soliditet, says that one should only give Saab credit if one has collateral, but at the same time they say that Saab usually pays the bills five days before the payment deadline.That makes Saab better than the average.

At the same time, Swedish TV4 tells us that the automobile industry in general are lousy payers. The big companies use the smaller companies as an extra credit. Saab is not worse than others.

Over to Jan Åke Jonsson's retirement. Jonsson is a man of honor. But would a man of honor announce his retirement if he knew that Saab was in deep trouble and would get into production problems three days later? Would he retire and hand over the responsibility to Victor Muller just like that? Wouldn't the two most probable options be to resign immediately or stay as CEO until these troubles were solved?

Finally, the media say claims that Saab has cash flow and liquidity problems. When Spyker agreed to buy Saab they "entered into a EUR 150 million Equity Credit Line Facility with GEM Global Yield Fund Limited (“GEM”) for a term of 3 years." Has this credit line facility been used? And if not, and Saab and Spyker Cars really have a cash flow problem, then why not use this possibility? Because it's too expensive, even in the short run?

And not to forget; Saab still claims that they have no cash flow or liquidity problems. It is only a question of agreeing on new delivery and payment terms.

Maybe someone can explain to my what is going on?