AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The car-buying process is a frustrating chore; it’s stressful, takes hours of precious time and once you finally seal the deal you’re never certain if you got screwed like a box of Phillips-head fasteners. But before you sign your life away, is it better to finance a vehicular purchase or pay cash? Not surprisingly the answer is a clear as a jar of peanut butter.
With Saab parent company Spyker Cars having secured a 30 million euro short-term loan, Saab vehicles will now resume production after a payment dispute with suppliers forced them to suspend their operations.
Saab CEO Victor Muller released a statement to the media, remarking ”I would like to apologize to our dedicated employees, suppliers, dealers and customers for the disruptions of the past weeks. We will do everything in our power to restore the confidence in our company as soon as practically possible.”
Saab is also exploring other avenues for funding, including partnerships with Chinese automakers and a land deal with controversial Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, that would involve Antonov buying Saab’s Swedish production facility and then leasing it back to the automaker as a means of giving Saab some liquidity. European investment outlets previously expressed significant reservations regarding Antonov and his alleged connections to Russian criminal networks.
[Source: Automotive News]
Lotus may build their next generation Esprit sports car outside of the United Kingdom after its request for a $50 million loan to build a new factory was rejected by an investment arm of the British government.
The loan was intended for a new factory in the Norfolk area of Britain, which would employ 1200 people and build models like the new Elan and Esprit. Other automakers have been given loans by the government, and Lotus released a statement saying “following this decision Group Lotus is currently exploring all available options including the possibility of submitting an updated bid for round two of the RGF, which is set to close on July 1.”
If a British facility cannot be procured, Lotus may build the new cars as Valmet’s factory in Finland or Magna-Steyr’s plant in Austria, where the Porsche Boxster and Aston Martin Rapide are respectively built.
[Source: Auto Express]
General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre is expected to announce today that the automaker has already paid off all of its $6.7 billion in loans to the U.S. and Canadian governments. Back in November, GM announced it would begin paying back the loans and today Whitacre is scheduled to make the announcement that the remaining $5.8 billion has now been returned to the taxpayers that supported the American auto giant when it was in trouble.
A press conference is set for later today at GM’s Fairfax, Kan. assembly plant, where Whitacre is also expected to announce the expansion of production facilities there. Currently the plant builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse.
This payback is, however, just a small potion of the almost $50 billion in taxpayer dollars used to support GM through its bankruptcy. As a result of that, the U.S. government still holds a 61 percent stake in the automaker. This news, however, is a sign that GM’s recovery is happening more quickly than expected. The U.S. Treasury had said it would agree to sell off its shares in GM once the debut is reduced to $3 billion – so expect an announcement of that nature to follow.