Saab Sells 582 Cars to Chinese Buyer to Cover Payroll, Bankruptcy Still Looms

Huw Evans
by Huw Evans

Saab‘s parent, Swedish Automobile (formerly Spyker Cars), announced that an unnamed Chinese company will purchase 582 Saab cars at a total value of 13 million Euros ($18.4 million) in order to help the automaker pay wages to its employees and part of the money it owes to suppliers.

“I am pleased to announce this agreement, as it secures part of the necessary short-term funding for Saab Automobile and allows us to pay our employee’s wages before the end of this month,” declared Swedish Automobile CEO Victor Muller.

However, with suppliers facing prospects of only getting 10 percent of what they are owed in the short term, there have been calls for Saab to file for voluntary bankruptcy, the European association of automotive suppliers CLEPA, stating this is the only option in order to allow employees to obtain state aid.

In addition, Saab is still struggling to raise money via leasing and by-back of its real estate. According to an official release by Saab Automobiles, Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov is still very much interested in pour money into the ailing automaker, but was awaiting clearance from the Swedish National Debt Office.

Swedish real estate company Hemfosa, was on Saturday, preparing to buy and lease back Saab’s factory in Trollhattan, to help ease the company’s debt , though the deal still hinged on participation from the European Investment Bank as well as Chinese companies Pang Da and Youngman.

Nevertheless these ‘pending’ agreements have done little to quell fears about Saab’s longer term viability, particularly among CLEPA members. The organization’s CEO Lars Holmqvist believes that the Swedish government’s slow response to intervene with the Saab situation and the automaker’s low volume production, along with what he see as ‘pathetic’ last ditched attempts to secure funding, are only postponing the inevitable.

[Source: WSJ]

Huw Evans
Huw Evans

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