With all the hype around the 2013 SRT Viper, it might be surprising how little coverage the car’s delayed arrival is getting.
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Another week and another sob story regarding Saab. The troubled automaker has just applied for protection from creditors, and is trying to avoid the bankruptcy petition made by the unions.
A once thriving manufacturer that made fighter aircraft, trucks and automobiles, the auto division of this 65 year-old company has been struggling ever since General Motors decided to liquidate its Swedish arm.
In 2009, Saab was bought out by Spyker Cars NV of Holland for $400-million. Since the take-over, Saab has struggled to keep the production line going and the much anticipated new 9-5 model has thus had trouble hitting the market place.
With creditors constantly breathing down Saab’s neck to get paid, Saab has filed for protection against creditors, so it can try to once again raise money and restart operations.
Saab CEO Victor Muller said in a statement; “A voluntary reorganization process will provide us with the necessary time, protection and stabilization.”
The plants in Trollhaettan have been quiet since June of this year. With suppliers losing confidence and workers waiting to get paid, it will take a miracle for Saab to get going again and to start making profit.
Another week and another episode in the Saab drama is upon us. Now news comes that this ailing Swedish brand has halted production on building any new cars until Aug. 9, 2011.
The delay is caused by suppliers, who want Saab to clear its debt with them before they provide any further parts. Saab has just secured an $81.2-million funding so it can produce cars once again.
Saab, which is owned by Dutch and Chinese company Swedish Automobile has said: “Saab Automobile continues its discussions with its suppliers on materials supply and commercial terms and is close to reaching agreements.”
It also commented that some of its suppliers need time to manufacture adequate amounts of parts to supply to Saab, leading to a delay of one month from today.
All these delays are not playing in favor of anyone holding shares in Saab,. Company stock is currently down 0.4% and any further delays can hurt its market value even further.
Saab is doing its best to pull itself out and support its workers. The Swedish automaker recently received a recent cash injection, and the company has finally paid wages to its workforce, some of whom had waited months to get paid. Some of the money it recently raised came from the property sale and leaseback that finally got the approval of the Swedish government.
Due to the nature of their shareholders agreement, any decision made by Saab has to be approved by the Chinese regulatory authorities which include Pangda (a parts distribution company) and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. It also has to get an approval from the Swedish government, former owner General Motors and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
A 40.1-million deal with a consortium headed by Hemfosa Fastigeheter had already been approved by Sweden’s Debt Office and the EIB.
Since “All My Children” and “One Life To Live” have been canceled, soap opera fans can turn to Swedish car-firm Saab for their weekly dose of drama.
Saab has seen its fair share of ups and downs in the last year and a half. General Motors almost left it for dead when a take-over deal with Koenigsegg broke down, only to find a last minute savior in the Dutch car company Spyker.
Ever since Spyker took over, Saab has had escalating problems with paying bills and keeping the production line going, with the company on the brink of bankruptcy almost every month.
Now with a new Chinese investing partner (Pangda Automobile Trade Co.), Saab now seems set to begin production once again next week, after a seven-week delay.
While Saab waits for the Chinese authorities to fully approve the Pangda deal, Spyker’s CEO Victor Muller says he is confident Pangda will obtain the necessary approvals to get the deal done.
Saab currently owes $47.2-million to Swedish suppliers, and almost the same amount to foreign suppliers. To say Saab is in a big hole is an understatement.
We hope they can get back on their feet and start producing cars like the iconic Sonnet and the 900 Turbo once again.
[Source: Automotive News]