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, April 30, 2012

Coast of Nordland

Traveling with the Hurtigruten is truly an unique experience. Unlike most ferries I have taken, the Hurtigrute vessels don't just travel back and forth between two or three ports. No, the 11 Hurtigrute ships sail between 33 ports and cover the whole Norwegian coast from Bergen in the west to Kirkenes in the north east close to the border to Russia. A total distance of 4.716 km. The ships travel this distance in 6 days. At the ports the ships stay from 15 minutes in the smaller ports and up to three or four hours in the large ports. The passengers are free to leave the ship and explore the ports.

Most of the time the ships sail close to the coast. Often in between the coast line and groups of islands. And so the waters are mostly calm this time of year. But I have to admit that I was a bit worried about the well being of my Sonett last night when we sailed across the open sea of the Vestfjorden. The ship was rolling over the waves and it took me a while to finally get to sleep, with my mind occupied by the well being of the Sonett. But tomorrow morning we will be reunited and I am sure that I can determine that the Sonett is safe and sound.

More on the Sonett with pictures and my impression one of the coming days.

Right now I am totally blown away by the scenery along the coast. They call this the world's most beautiful sea voyage and I now understand why. If you ever get the chance to spend a day or a week on a Hurtigrute vessel, then do!

You wouldn't believe where people have settled along the wild and beautiful coast. Under a 1000 meter high and steep mountain is no problem. As long as there is a small flat spot between the ocean and the mountain, there is place to build a house!

Or why not just build the house up in the mountain side? It may be a hassle to get around since you almost need to be a mountain climber to move around, but at least you get a great view!

Torghatten with the big hole through the mountain

Crossing the arctic circle

Drying cod in Svolvær

House by the sea and mountain

Small house, big mountain

Trollfjord, only 100 meters wide.

Saab sale negotiations in May

In between my newly found obsession with the Hurtigruten and my Sonett, here are two short notes about Saab.

There hasn't been much breaking news lately, but Swedish Radio reported a few days ago that the bankruptcy administrators have invited the bidders to final negotiation in May. A source said that they hope to reach a deal by the end of May, but that it is not likely that all details have been worked through by then. Anyway, looks like the coming month will be decisive.

The second piece of news is that Spyker (previously know as Swedish Automobile) made a huge profit in 2011. Spyker was of course the parent company of Saab Automobile, and despite its subsidiary (which was 99 % of Spyker's business) going bankrupt, the parent company made a EUR 16.2 million profit. Sounds unbelievable doesn't it? According to Victor Muller, one of the reasons is that the preference shares GM held in Saab was earlier accounted as debt, and now this debt is gone due to the bankruptcy. The whole explanation can be read in the financial statement for 2011 which Spyker will publish later today. For anyone interested I recommend visiting www.spyker-cars.nl

Sunday, April 29, 2012

MS Polarlys

Home for me and the Sonett the next two days, the MS Polarlys (which translates into Mail ship Artic Light):


And a goodbye to Andøya for now:

The Coastal Express Hurtigruten

After one day on Andøya with its breathtaking nature, I will board one of the vessles of Hurtigruten (the Coastal Express) which will take me and the Sonett down to Trondheim.

The history of the Coastal Express Hurtigruten dates all the way back to 1893 when the company Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab started to operate a shipping line from Trondheim to Hammerfest. With only a break during the second world war, Hurtigruten has operated since. It sails 365 days a year and it it makes a call in many many ports along the coast twice a day, one call northbound and one southbound.

Today Hurtigruten puts much emphasis on tourism. Thousands of tourists from all over the world (many from Germany and England) spend a week or just a day or two of their holiday sailing the Hurtigruten. In winter they experience the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) playing on the sky over the spectacular wintery mountains falling into the fjords.


In summer they get to see the Midnight Sun and the same spectacular mountains and fjords. In summer you even get the Geiranger Fjord, maybe the most beautiful nature has offer in Norway.


Even if tourism has become very important for the shipping line, it still holds a great importance for transporting goods and people up and down the coast. And today I and my new Sonett will be goods and people, or preferably the other way around.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I now own a..

1968 Saab Sonett V4!

Sorry to all you who guessed 99 turbo and 96 two stroke. They are also favorite Saab cars of mine, but now it was time for a Sonett. In Norway there are only seven Saab Sonett II, and one of these are the one I just bought.



Going north

Now I have embarked on my trip across Norway to buy myself a classic Saab. First leg is a flight from Oslo Airport to the biggest city in the north of Norway, Tromsø. But that is not my final destination. In Tromsø I will board a turbo prop plane that will take me to Andøya.

Andøya is maybe best known for its Andøya Rocket Range, where scientists from all over Europe come to see their research rockets being launched. In 1995 one of these rocket launches almost started a nuclear doomsday. For 24 minutes the Russians thought that they were under nuclear attact from the US when their radars detected a rocket. The Russians mistook the science rocket as a Trident missile from a US submarine. A Trident missile would take only 10 minutes to reach Moscow, so there were little time to investigate and identify the rocket. President Boris Yeltsin activated his "nuclear briefcase" and his generals urged Yeltsin to launch the counter attact. But Yeltsin hesitated. He couldn't believe that the West would attact Russia, and this hesitation probably saved us from a nuclear apocalypse. 24 minuted after the rocket was launched, it fell into the ocean near Spitsbergen, just as intended. And for the record, the Russians had been informed that a rocket would be launched on that day at that time, but obviously communication were not all that good in Russia. This little known incident has been said to be much more severe than the Cuban Missile Crisis.

But enough of this anecdote. Below is my travel plan the next four days.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Unique Saab for sale

On Swedish classified site Blocket, there is now a very unique Saab for sale. The car is the Saab CX and was built by Per Ekstrøm of Norway in the early nineties. The car has been a hit together with another Saab built by Ekstrøm, the Saab EX, on many car shows since. But now the Saab CX seems to be for sale.

Roadtrip across the Arctic Circle

Tomorrow I will embark on a trip that will take me across the Arctic Circle from south to north and then back again. The mission of the trip: To buy a classic Saab!

If the technology serves me well, I will document the trip on this blog. So I invite you to come along!

Let's see if you can guess what car (a hint is on this page) I'm buying:



Be sure to stop by during the next four days to get updates on a trip involving a jet airliner, a turbo prop airliner, a classic Saab and the "World's Most Beautiful Sea Voyage".

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pictures of final Saabs being built

Local Trollhättan newspaper TTELA has a picture gallery of the last Saabs being built. These 50 Saabs were unfinished cars left at the production line when Saab filed for bankruptcy on December 19th last year. The company ANA Trollhättan bought the cars earlier this year, rolled them off the line and transported them to their facilities and are now building them into complete cars to be sold to some lucky buyers.


Visit TTELA to see all the pictures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mahindra owned SsangYong copies Saab

One of the companies said to be interested in acquiring Saab is Indian Mahindra. Last year Mahindra also acquired Korean SsangYong. And now it looks like they already have acquired Saab's design.

Here's a Korean Saab 9x copy labeled SsangYong XIV2.


Saab 9x BioHybrid:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Muller lost EUR 13 million on Saab

Tonight Swedish TV4 broad casted a documentary about Saab during the Spyker era. For anyone following Saab the past year, the documentary did not reveal any new information. Maybe with the exception that Victor Muller actually lost as much as EUR 13 million of his own money on Saab. So anyone accusing Muller of enriching himself on the expense of Saab should really reconsider.

Another interesting observation from the documentary was that both Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and managing director of Scandinavian supplier body, FKG, Fredrik Sidahl, praised Victor Muller for saving Saab in 2010 and doing his absolutely best to save Saab from bankruptcy last year.

One person who was critical of Muller, was former Swedish Minister of Enterprises Maud Olofsson. And she even made a fool of herself saying something like the following: "Of course GM will not let Saab have the GM technology and sell Saabs in China when GM is already selling cars branded as Ford (!!) based on the same technology."

I think someone needs to learn Olofsson a thing or two about the car industry, for instance that GM does not sell Ford cars!

It is tragic to think that this woman was Minister responsible for the Swedish car industry...

More Saab based cars from BAIC

Here's a new batch of pictures of Chinese BAIC cars based on Saab technology.









And first prize for most terrible looking BAIC car goes to:






Many more pictures at China Car Times.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Chinese reincarnation of the Saab 9-5

Back in 2009 Beijing Auto Works bought the old Saab 9-5 technology (1998-2010) from Saab/GM to be used in several coming vehicles from BAIC. The first one being the BAIC C70. Many spy photos have since emerged. Photos that have worried Saab fans because the BAIC cars have looked like exact copies of the Saabs they are based on. But now we finally have the pictures of the production ready BAIC C70G. And I am pleased to say that it looks quite different from the old Saab 9-5 which it is based on.





More pictures at Car News China.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saab Parts starts production of body parts

Saab Automobile Parts, the company selling and distributing genuine Saab spare parts, has today issued a press release. In this press release the company writes that it has made an agreement with the Saab bankruptcy administrators in order to start the manufacturing of spare body parts for Saab cars in the body shop of the Saab Trollhättan factory.

The production of body parts has been at a standstill since Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy on December 19th of last year. Now the production will commence and will continue up till June 30th.

In other words, this is news that must please both Saab owners and Saab body workshops out there!


Youngman bidding SEK 3.2 billion

Updated 10:43 with info from administrators' press briefing

According to Dagens Industri, Chinese Youngman has placed a bid valuing the Saab bankruptcy estate to SEK 3.2 billion. It is believed that this is the lowest price acceptable for those creditors with collateral in buildings and equipment.

Also Indian Mahindra is reported having placed a bid and being present in Gothenburg ready to negotiate an acquisition.

On today's press briefing, bankruptcy administrator Hans Bergqvist said that the aim is to sell as much as possible of the estate in one sale. Bergqvist said that also the Saab parts company is part of the sale process.

"We want to get paid as much as possible, and so there are discussions ongoing about the price and which parts a sale will include."

"Saab Parts is definitely included."

The administrators have however not made any assessment to see if the parties are able to continue operation of Saab.

"All the interested parties have presented a business plan and placed a bid which corresponds to their business plan. We have to believe that the parties intend to implement the business plan."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Youngman prepared to invest SEK 20 billion in Saab

Updated 22:22

One of the bidders on the Saab bankruptcy estate is Chinese Youngman. Earlier the company has confirmed placing an indicative bid, and now Youngman's spokesman Johan Nylén confirms that the Chinese company has also placed a definite bid on Saab.

"There is a number of bidders left. Youngman's interest remains. We are still one of the bidders," Johan Nylén told Dagens Industri.

Johan Nylén would however not comment on how much Youngman is prepared to pay for Saab, but he did say how much Youngman believes a restart of Saab will cost.

"To restart the production we estimate the cost to be SEK 10 billion," Nylén said.

Furthermore, Nylén dismissed rumors claiming that Youngman is only interested in acquiring Saab for the technology to be used in vehicle production in China.

"That is absolutely not correct. The entire business plan is based on production taking place in Trollhättan," Nylén said.

"Realistically, a fairly slow start and then go up into larger volumes," he continued. The production would be of the current Saab 9-3 and possibly Lotus cars, while the technology for the next generation Saab cars is being finalized.

Nylén also said that Youngman is prepared to invest SEK 20 billion over a period of five years in order to implement their business plan for Saab.

In addition to Youngman, also Indian Mahindra has been mentioned as a possible bidder. When commenting on other bidders, Nylén said that Youngman believes that Mahindra is in fact one of the bidders.

"It would be Mahindra. But Youngman is probably the only one of the bidders who have the ambition to have continued production in Trollhättan."

Account of bankruptcy inventory discussed in District Court

Tuesday last week the bankruptcy administrator's account of the inventory of the Saab bankruptcy estate was handed in to the Vänersborg District Court. Today former Saab CEO Victor Muller together with members of the former management of Saab and representatives of creditors were asked by the court to make their comments on the account.

From the former management of Saab Victor Muller, Martin Larsson, Christina Geers and Johan Formgren were present. There were also former Saab accounting employees present.

Guy Lofalk, which managed the reconstruction of Saab which lead to a bankruptcy filing, was also present.

To the court the bankruptcy administrators could report that since the account was handed in last week, additional debts have been identified and some debts have been reduced.

First to comment the account was Victor Muller.

Victor Muller told the court that there were some accounts receivable missing. According to him, reconstruction administrator Guy Lofalk is liable to pay damages for the wrong-doing he did as reconstruction administrator prior to the bankruptcy filing. In addition, Muller said that there are more claims in relation to breach of contract and other damages.

Except for this, Muller said that he agreed with the bankruptcy administrator's inventory account, and Muller also swore to this in court.

Also Fredrik Gyllefjord, Martin Larsson, Christina Geers, Johan Formgren and Mikael Sand, who are either former Saab employees or Saab management members, all swore that the account of the inventory, with only some minor additions and adjustments.

Update: Swedish Automobile, Saab's former parent company, has issued a press release concerning Victor Muller's statement in the court:


"In my opinion an additional asset in the form of a claim against the former administrator of Saab Automobile AB, the lawyer Mr. Guy Lofalk, relating to a repayment obligation on the part of his fee which in my opinion cannot be considered to be reasonable. Moreover the claim relates to the damages Saab Automobile AB (hereinafter "the company") has suffered as a result of the actions taken by Mr. Lofalk during his tenure as administrator of the company.

It must be emphasized that Guy Lofalk's assignment as administrator was based on an appointment from the company followed by a decision from the district court. The company's owner, Swedish Automobile N.V., has on the company's behalf paid his fees in accordance with instructions and agreements entered into with Mr. Lofalk. I cannot today specify to what this additional asset amounts today.

In my opinion there is also an additional asset in the form of claim for damages against the law firm Lindahl related to the fact that the firm, through the lawyer Lars-Henrik Andersson, committed to the assignment as new administrator of the company's reconstruction, and then withdrew his commitment. It is, however, difficult to assess the amount of this additional asset today.

We are assessing whether there are additional assets in the form of claims for breach of contract and/or tort which can be made against certain third parties but as per today it is to early too determine whether those claims exist and, if so, the magnitude of such claims."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Optimism for SAAB as a continued car brand name

Back in January just a few weeks after Saab filed for bankruptcuy, Kent Hägglund was appointed additional bankruptcy administrators in charge of questions concerning the Saab brand name and the Gripen logo. With the definite bids being placed on Tuesday, the question of what will happen to the Saab brand name and Gripen logo is of course of great interest. Therefore local Trollhättan newspaper TTELA has had a talk with Hägglund.

"It's looking quite good," said Kent Hägglund to TTELA.

Hägglund is mainly talking with the aerospace and defense company Saab AB and the commercial vehicle developer and producer Scania AB on issues concerning the brand name and logo. An approval from these companies is needed before any new buyer of Saab can use the Saab brand name and Gripen logo.

"I assume that I will together with the main administrator of the bankruptcy discuss how we will proceed," said Hägglund.

So far its been a lot of work and he expects the work load to increase further.

"It's been busy so far and yes, I believe that the work will get even more extensive from now on."

And Hägglund is optimistic about a solution regarding the brand name.

"I said in the beginning that my view is that this will be solved together with the administrators, Saab AB, Scania and the potential buyer."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just-auto says three bids submitted

According to well informed and reputable English automotive industry news site just-auto and writer Simon Warburton, three bids were placed on the entire Saab bankruptcy estate by the deadline on Tuesday this week.

The three bidders are assumed to be Chinese vehicle manufacturer Youngman, Indian vehicle manufacturer Mahindra and a Japanese-Chinese consortium made up of auto industry suppliers.

In other words, those who have been hoping for an European car maker, possibly one based in Munich or Wolfsburg, your hopes could start to fade.

Just-auto reports that the bankruptcy administrators will use the next 10 weeks to evaluate the bids.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Handful of bids

Yesterday was the deadline to place bids on the Saab bankruptcy estate for those who want the entire estate. According to TTELA, the deadline was set at the end of the work day, i.e. at 17:00. A handful of bids were received by the deadline.

Reports say that one or more of the parties may have raised their bid as the deadline approached. According to bankruptcy administrators Hans L. Bergqvist, the administration hopes to get more than the SEK 3.6 billion, which the assets of the estate are valued to.

"That's the break up value," Bergqvist told Swedish news agency TT.

A report from Swedish Radio suggests that both Chinese Youngman and Indian Mahindra have placed bids. In addition, a Japanese-Chinese consortium has been mentioned as well as a Swedish consortium. Earlier in the process, even an undisclosed "European car maker" was mentioned as one of the interested parties.

To Swedish news agency TT, administrator Bergqvist could confirm that they had received a handful of bids.

"No one has called it quits today. The interested parties who have been following us lately are still part of the process," Bergvist said.

And the bids are already being evalutated. "We are evaluating them now."

If one of these bids is accepted and the bidder lives up to its plans, Trollhättan will again manufacture cars.

"They all want to build cars and they all want to build on the Saab cars in some form," said Bergqvist.

"These stakeholders have premises to do what Saab wanted to do. They see opportunities in taking advantage of the value in Saab."

According to Bergqvist, the production of the current Saab 9-3 can basically be continued, but the other Saab models will need an approval from General Motors which owns the technology.

The goal of the administrators is to have a deal done by summer.

--------------

For me this sounds like very good news. Maybe the best news is that the administrators hope to get more than SEK 3.6 billion for the estate. Any company who can raise at least SEK 3.6 billion must be a company with good connections in the world of finance. And that will hopefully ensure that we will not see another owner like Spyker, always on the hunt after money to live another month.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Recent Saab patent filings

Today when the bankruptcy administrators filed their assessment of the bankruptcy estate, some interesting information was revealed. For instance which patents Saab has filed the last two years.

Below we can see that Saab has filed a lot of patents concerning EREV (extended range electric vehicle), several patents concerning clutch, gear and transmission. And even a patent for a hat rack!


Saab valued to SEK 3.6 billion

Today the bankruptcy administrators handed in the assessment of the Saab bankrupotcy estate to the Vänarsborg Distriuct Court. Local Trollhättan newspaper TTELA has skimmed through the assessment and here is what they write.

According to the assessment, the estates assets are valued to SEK 3.6 billion. Saab's assets are bank deposits, accounts receivable, tools, cars, parts, components, materials, shares in subsidiaries and intellectual property right. The value of the intellectual property right is however affected by agreements with General Motors and Chinese Bejing Automotive.

The debt of the estate has been calculated to SEK 13 billion. In addition to this, General Motors (GM) has SEK 2.2 billion outstanding due to the preference shares GM had in Saab. So in total you can say that the debt is actually SEK 15.2 billion.

Saab's debt concerning their emplyees amount to SEK 1.4 billion. Of this SEK 870 million concern the salaries paid by the Swedish state during the reconstruction and the bankruptcy (under the wage guarantee scheme). In addition, the employees themselves have SEK 513 million outstanding from Saab.

"Those who were employeed by Saab Automolbile AB can not expect to receive any payment," the administrators says in the document. But the former employees of Saab Automobile Powertrain AB can "expect payment to a some degree".

Sweden's National Debt Office (NDO) is also a large creditor with SEK 2.2 billion outstanding after the NDO paid back Saab's loan in the European Investment Bank. The NDO can expect to be fully paid.

The forementioned debt amounts to SEK 3.6 billion, which means that Saab owes other creditors SEK 9.4 billion. Other creditors cover suppliers, subcontractors, property owners, municipalities, etc etc.


The largest creditors of Saab Automobile:

Sweden's National Debt Office: 2.169 billion
Saab Tools: 1.014 billion
GMAC Financial Services AB: 904 million
GM companies: 820 million
Wages paid by the state guarantee: 531 million
Saab Parts: 519 million
Employees: 473 million
Pang Da: 404 million
State taxes etc: 373 million
Saab Powertrain: 366 million
GM Powertrain-Germany: 327 million
Saab Great Britain: 204 million
Försäkringsbolaget PRI pensionsgaranti: 179 million
CN Zhejiang International Trade Co. Ltd: 138 million
Mega Earn International Limited: 69 million
DHL: 53 million
Zheijang Youngman Lotus Car Co. Ltd: 49 million
Saab Italy: 43 million
Saab Spain: 36 million
Dukelevel Holdings Ltd: 31 million
Swedish Automobile: 25 million
CN Jinhua Youngman companies: 10 million
Suppliers (about 1,700 different companies): 2.3 billion

The largest creditors of Saab Automobile Powertrain AB:

GMAC Financial Services: 904 million
Vicura: 40 million
Employees: 40 million
Wages paid by the state guarantee: 40 million
State taxes etc: 34 million
Försäkringsbolaget PRI Pensiongaranti: 22 million
Suppliers: 116 million

The largest creditors of Saab Automobile Tools AB:

Adam Opel: 187 million
State taxes etc: 10 million
Suppliers: 228 million

Some of these creditors have preferential rights. Some can expect to get paid in full and some in parts. But most will lose everything.



More to follow.

Day of final bids is here

If you want the Saab and not just a Saab, then you better hurry up and place your bid. Reason being that the bankruptcy administrators have set today as the definite deadline for those parties who want to buy the entire Saab Automobile.

So who do you have to compete with?

At the moment we have no comfirmation that any party has placed a final bid, but we can assume that some of these parties have or will:

China Youngman Automobile Group
A Chinese vehicle manufacturer with the ambition to become a notable player in the passenger car industry. Currently Youngman is developing and manufacturing cars with Proton/Lotus technology. Now they want to start using Saab technology. Reports have it that Youngman wants Saab in its entirety, which means development, manufacturing, spare parts business – everything. And they are ready to invest SEK 12 billion in new Saab models.

Mahindra & Mahindra
Part of an Indian conglomerate with operations in 100 countries around the world. The group is engaged in agribusiness, automotive, construction equipment, defense, energy, farm equipment, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, information technology, leisure and hospitality, logistics, real estate, retail and more. The automotive part of the group is India's second largest vehicle manufacturer and is mainly developing and manufacturing SUVs and off road vehicles. Mahindra uses technology from Jeep, Renault/Dacia, from suppliers and from SsangYong which Mahindra acquired in 2011. Now it has been suggested that Mahindra wants Saab for its technology.

Japanese-Chinese consortium
Consists of automotive suppliers from Japan and China. Wants to focus solely on electric vehicles, possibly not branded as Saabs. Is said to be backed by financially strong players.

Swedish consortium
A Swedish consortium has also been mentioned. We know very little about this consortium. It could be a Swedish initiative for electric vehicles.

Other players?
The rumour mill has it that also BMW, Panasonic, Bejing Automotive, Magna and more could be interested.

We have some very exciting and nerve wrecking days to come.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Custom-made 1971 Saab 95 for sale in Sweden

Custom-made 1971 Saab 95 for sale in Sweden:


"The whole car has been restored and has a airsuspension in the back. The interior is also custom made"

"V4 engine with central-injection and a supercharger on top"

Here's a few more pictures from Hotrod:






Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mahindra to fight it out with Youngman

Short notice on DI.se from today's Dagens Industri newspaper:

Mahindra & Mahindra will fight it out with Youngman to acquire Saab Automobile: Yesterday Saab's bankruptcy administrators said that the bidders have until April 10th to submit final bids. According to sources Indian Mahindra & Mahindra will have to fight it out with Youngman in order to acquire the debt-ridden bankruptcy estate's assets.

So it seems that Dagens Industri's sources say that Mahindra and Youngman are best positioned to win this bidding war. But just a few days ago local Trollhättan newspaper TTELA reported that Mahindra and the Japanese-Chinese consortium were the favorites. In other words, nobody seems to know who are favorites. But notice that Mahindra was mentioned in both reports.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day of final bids pushed to April 10th

Today the Saab bankruptcy administrators Anne-Marie Pouteaux and Hans Bergqvist held their bi-weekly press briefing. Here is a summary:


According to the administrators, the deadline to place final bids have been set to April 10th after consulting the interested parties. Earlier unconfirmed reports have said that the deadline was March 31st, that deadline has now been pushed.

"We have had two intense weeks. We have focused on the sale process. The interested parties are working very intensely. We have had visits from companies among other things. Together with the parties we have decided to push the date for final bids to the first day after Easter."

The administrators said that they have a time table for the sale, but it will depend on the final bids if that time table holds up. Earlier they said that the goal is to finish the sale before the summer.

The administrators said that they are currently working on finding solutions to questions and a challenges raised by the interested parties.

The administrators are confident that the parties which are still part of the process will place final bids. All parties, except Brightwell Holdings, are still in the race.

And more important, all remaining parties are interested in manufacturing cars in Trollhättan. The administrators could however not say if cars will be built under the Saab brand, but they did confirm that all the interested parties are interested in buliding cars based on Saab technology.

The administrators have also been in contact with General Motors (GM) and been given insight into GM's view and position on the bankruptcy sale. GM's position is interesting seeing that most of Saab's cars are built on technology licensed from GM. Earlier GM has said a definite no to licensing technology to any new owner of Saab. The administrators would however not comment on what position GM has expressed to the administrators.

"That is something we will only discuss with the bidding parties," they said.

Another concern has been the shattering of the expertise when engineers and technicians from Saab were laid off earlier this year.

The administrators said that several skillfull and knowledgeable technicians are currently working for the bankruptcy estate and that there are many former Saab workers with technical skills still in the region and thus available for the interested parties either as employees or consultants.

Another interesting piece of information from today's press briefing, is that the debts of Saab is around SEK 12 - 13 billion according to administrator Hans Bergqvist. And the assets amount to much less. The inventory of the estate, where all debts and assets will be presented, will be made public Tuesday next week.