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.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday notes from the media

Okay, so I couldn't stay completely away and here's some notes from Swedish media.

TTELA writes that it's unclear when Saab can start production again, it can probably not start until after Easter:

Unclear on the start of production at Saab
It is unclear when production of cars can start again at Saab in Trollhattan.
- We are waiting for the European Investment Bank's decision, says Saab's communications director Eric Geers. But there will probably not roll any new cars out of the Stallbacka factory until after Easter.
- There is still no cars being built at Saab and noone seems to know when the production can start again. But yesterday the Government came with their reply: Saab Automobile may - under certain conditions - sell its property and thus solve the acute liquidity crunch.
After the Government gave its approval for Saab to make changes in the loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the ball is now in the EIB's court.
- Theoretical Saab could get the money already when banks are now opening on Monday, but it will probably take longer than this, says Daniel Barr from the National Debt Office, which handles the matter for the Government.
At the EIB they won't way when a decision will be taken, or when Saab can get the money.
- We do not comment on the matter because of bank confidenciality. Saab is our customers, says Eva Srejber, vice president of the EIB. 
Eric Geers hope that a decision from the EIB will come early next week. But even if the decision comes fast, the solution is not just pushing the button. Once funding is secured, Saab has to reach an agreement with the suppliers.
- We are in continuous contact with our suppliers, says Eric Geers.
And when they have agreed it will take about one week to get production going, Eric Geers estimates. So even if everything runs smoothly, it doesn't look like Saab can build any cars until after Easter.
- Next week is an important week.
If production starts in week 17, the company, according to Eric Geers, will have lost production of about 2000 cars. But this could then be caught up in week 20.
But to sell the property is not the only way that Saab is trying to raise money.
- There are several parallel tracks in terms of funding, says Eric Geers.
But he will not say anything about those tracks because it's too early in the process.
At the same the Government's decision yesterday was of course welcomed.
- It was positive, says Eric Geers.

TTELA also reports that the suppliers are positive and again ready to supply Saab:

Subcontractors positive to restart
The subcontractors, who stopped their supplies and thus Saab's production when they were not paid, is positive to Friday's decision.
- I believe that suppliers are willing to discuss a restart, says Automotive Component Group CEO Svenåke Berglie.
To re-start production at Saab will take time according to Svenåke Berglie.
- The pipes are empty. It will take a week or so.
On Friday Svenåke Berglie spoke with some of the subcontractors to Saab.
- The people I have talked to are willing to discuss a restart.
The money from a sale of the property means that Saab can start paying the debts to the suppliers.
- Then they absolutely have to increase the car sales. Otherwise, it will not work out. There must be a cash flow.

Dagens Idustri writes that Antonov is happy about the Government's decision from yesterday:

Antonov happy with the decision on Saab
Vladimir Antonov received news of the Government's decision on the Saab deal through his Swedish spokesman Lars Carlström.
- He was thrilled, says Carlström.
Antonov, who was on vacation in Argentina, is now in the U.S..
- But it's not really a done deal yet, saya Carlström about the Saab deal. It is important that we can finish the deal early next week.
Friday's statement on the properties was only the beginning.
- Now we have a good chance to revive Saab again, says Carlström. It feels like We can get this done now.
Antonov also wants to become part owner of Saab, not just buy the factory buildings.
- We expect that the issue on Antonov can be resolved next week.
Then the talks can start again on the Russian financier becomming a part owner.
- Then we can secure Saab's continued funding, says Carlström.