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.
Last week we reported the news that Saab was auctioning off the vehicles in its museum, with over 120 different models looking to be separated from one another. It appears that Saab enthusiasts and the city of Trollhättan, where the museum is located, wasn’t too keen on that idea.
The museum has been saved thanks to the city of Trollhättan, SAAB AB and The Wallenburg foundations. The trio paid over $4.1-million for the whole collection to remain in Trollhättan, but more importantly none of the cars will be separated from one another. The running costs of the museum will also be absorbed by the city and the regional government.
This is great news for what little may remain of Saab history, with the museum presumably housing the most complete collection of Saab vehicles in the world.
[Source: Saabs United]
Somehow, Saab is still alive, clinging to financial solvency with a tenacious refusal to go gentle into that good night. Some good news in its struggle has emerged, however: the troubled company has raised $5.8 million in a deal with GEM Global Yield Fund Limited, securing its funding for the time being.
Saab’s Trollhättan plant has been idle since April, while Saab raises money by selling Girl Scout cookies and mowing its neighbor’s lawn. This deal allows Saab to issue and sell 4 million new shares, but it still needs more money in the future: the company still needs to pay its suppliers as well as its employers in order to resume production by the end of August.
Saab is currently looking at deals with various Chinese automakers. But until those can come to fruition, it’s been forced to scale back some of its ambitious plans: it had previously stated that it would build 120,000 cars by 2012 and actually turn a profit by then. But now, it has scaled back its production target. And before that new target can be set, it actually has to, you know, go back into production.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Saab’s ongoing drama will remain at a standstill for another two weeks. Saab’s Trollhattan factory in Sweden, has not produced vehicles for most of April and May because of issues regarding paying suppliers. The factory bounced back in late May, but was quickly forced to stop production when part supplies ran out yet again.
“There will be no normal production during weeks 25 and 26 (June 20th-July 3rd),” Saab spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs said.
In the last few weeks, Saab made agreements with two Chinese Car companies, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co and Pang Da which, if approved by Chinese governments, will solve its mid and long-term financial issues.
“We are still negotiating with all suppliers and we need to get everyone on board at the same time,” Gustavs said. “The weeks of 27-29 (July 4th-24th) are planned to be normal working weeks”.
Saab has spoken with Swedish property company Hemfosa on a sale and leaseback deal for the Swedish plant. Hemfosa was prepared to pay around $46 million for Saab’s properties. If this quick sale goes through, Saab will have the finances to restart production.
“There is nothing new that we can communicate,” Gustavs said on its building sale plans. “That is still being negotiated.”
[Source: Automotive News]
General Motors has officially announced it has reached a tentative deal to sell its Swedish Saab brand to a group of companies lead by Swedish supercar-maker Koenigsegg.
The deal will see the Koenigsegg group receive $600 million in funding from the European Investment Bank, which has been guaranteed by the Swedish government.
GM will provide Saab with platform and powertrain technology for an undisclosed period of time, while Saab is set to begin production of the next generation 9-5 in the near future at its plant in Trollhättan, Sweden.
“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character. Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, said Jan Ake Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab.
“This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations,” said GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster. “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company. Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors.”
Koenigsegg’s acquisition of Saab is expected to be completed by the third-quarter of this year.