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Saab has officially been struggling for two whole years now, since its problems first came to light in December, 2009.
With time, it has seen some positive developments, but things don’t look any better for the foreseeable future.
A few months ago, Saab had received a court order that prevented its creditors to push the company into bankruptcy. It would use this time to reorganize. However, Saab’s owner – Swedish Automobiles NV, has said that Saab and its creditors have just five to six days to submit their views to the district court in Sweden. The court will decide whether to end the reorganization and push the company into bankruptcy.
Despite attracting two major Chinese companies (Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. & Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobiles) to invest in Saab, there have been delays in getting the necessary payments from the Chinese, and production lines have been sitting still for almost an entire year.
Saab previous owner, General Motors also has some objections. Most of the technologies found in current Saab vehicles is licensed from GM, and it does not want to support a sale of Saab that could hurt its own position in China.
GM currently builds the 9-4X for Saab in Mexico. If GM pulls the plug on their deal with Saab, it would be impossible for the company to survive in its current form.
Stay tuned, as this drama is far from over just yet.
[Source: Automotive News]
Swedish court approves carmarker's appeal for "reorganization"
After Saab’s request for “reorganization” was approved by a Swedish court today, the carmaker has announced that it will look to restructure itself as an independent entity.
This move is the first step in a process that would allow Saab to restructure itself and renegotiate terms with creditors. This, after Saab said it estimates a loss of $340 million last year and expects a similar loss for 2009.
“We explored and will continue to explore all available options for funding and/or selling Saab,” said Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson. “It was determined a formal reorganization would be the best way to create a truly independent entity that is ready for investment.”
The move comes after General Motors announced in its viability plan submitted to the U.S. Treasury that it would not cover further losses at Saab, but that it would assist financially in the reorganization process. A request to the Swedish government, asking it to take over Saab was also rejected.
General Motors has put forth a “substantial” amount of money to help Saab and has asked the Swedish government for loan guarantees of $600 million to keep Saab afloat. GM has also agreed to help with development and tooling costs of the new 9-5,94x and 9-3x which are scheduled for launch in the next 18 months.
Saab has also applied for 500 million euros from the European Investment Bank and is looking for private investors.
The independent Saab would be centralized in Sweden with design, engineering and manufacturing all taking place in that country.
Saab, which currently employs 4,000 people in Sweden, was sold, in part, to General Motors in 1990, with GM taking full control in 2000. Since the purchase the Swedish automaker has only turned a profit once.
Official Saab Release After the jump: