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.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Chinese order for Saab cars

Saab has just issued a press release saying that a Chinese company, undisclosed at the moment, has ordered 582 Saab vehicles for the sum of EUR 13 million. The pre-payment of the cars is expected to be received this week.
This means that Saab has secured cash for payment of the June wages.

Eric Geers, Executive Director of Communication at Saab, told that the pre-payment for cars will be received by Saab this week and then the wages will be paid as soon as possible. He hoped the wage payment can be done this week, but he would not guarantee it.

According to Svenska Dagbladet, Gunilla Gustavs, who spokeswoman at Saab, told the Swedish news agency TT Saab is not allowed to disclose who the buyer of the cars is. She would not comment if it is a company Saab has dealt with earlier.

More cash is of course needed to pay the suppliers the 10 percent of the debt that Saab hopes the suppliers will agree on to restart production. The remaining 90 per cent is to be paid in September. And of course next month the wages are due again. reports CEO of the suppliers association, Svenåke Berglie, told TT that SEK 700 - 800 million is needed to restart production. In addition, they will need information about the long-term funding.

In the press release Saab's Chairman and CEO Victor Muller says the following about the latest car sale to China:
"I am pleased to announce this agreement, as it secures part of the necessary short-term funding for Saab Automobile and allows us to pay our employees' wages before the end of this month. The management of Saab Automobile is deeply committed to the company and its employees. I respect the decision of the union members to resign from the board of Saab Automobile. We very much regret the current cash shortage which is causing undeserved hardship to all and we are working relentlessly to resolve the current situation. We hope to secure additional short-term funding, necessary to reach agreement with all of our suppliers to restart production, soon."
He continues stating that Vladimir Antonov still wants to invest in Saab:
"Mr. Vladimir Antonov's interest in participating as an investor/financier in Swedish Automobile remains unwavering, but he is still awaiting a decision on his clearance from parties at interest following the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) recommendation to clear him over 8 weeks ago. Once clearance has been obtained, Mr. Antonov can provide much needed financing and/or capital to Swedish Automobile/Saab Automobile at this critical time. We are pushing hard to obtain this vital clearance as soon as practically possible."

I interpret the statement on Antonov as Muller trying to increase the pressure on the Swedish Government and the European Investment Bank to approve Antonov. I fully support Victor Muller. Now is the time for the Swedish Government and the EIB to show some responsibility!