By on March 10, 2011

Reuters reports that Saab/Spyker partner Vladimir Antonov has questioned whether Saab will hit its ambitious 80k unit global sales goal this year, saying

This means that the company could face capital problems

Thelocal.se provides a little more detail quoting Antonov as saying

I’m not involved in how the company is run so I don’t have access to the numbers. But according to earlier versions of the business plan, they have to sell 80,000 cars this year to stay with the plan. From my point of view, I think that’s a bit too optimistic.

If the goal isn’t reached it would be nice for Saab to have €50-70 million ($69-97 million) as a little something extra to lean on. We’re ready to provide that money if we’re allowed to do so by the [European Investment Bank].

Antonov went on to say that bringing in outside investors would be difficult and that if the EIB loan fell through, something he does not foresee, Saab could be bankrupt “in days.” Needless to say, Saab’s Chief Optimism Officer Victor Muller didn’t take kindly to Antonov’s remarks and is firing back in the press.

According to the Reuters report, Muller has said that

the remarks made by Antonov, who last month agreed to buy the Spyker luxurysportscar business [link added], were “complete nonsense” and that Spyker was sticking to all Saab sales targets.

And when Reuters went looking for some third-party clarity on the conflict, Patrick Beijersbergen of Dutch sharholders’ group VEB told them

Muller is someone who is very positive and optimistic, which is good as a businessman, of course. Perhaps Antonov is more realistic. We have always said Muller was taking a big risk with the takeover. We have said before that Spyker may have to do a big share issue. That is still possible if one of the financiers reclaims his money

Finally, Saabsunited.com confirms (through a translated Russian interview with Vladimir Antonov) that the firm’s much-hyped “Phoenix platform,” which is said to be the future of the brand, is actually a development of a GM platform. Antonov explains

Saab – a niche company, we can not compare it to corporations such as Volkswagen, who works for the unification of models between brands. Plan for production – 125 thousand cars in 2012. But we also understand that the unification within the company needed. Therefore, our new platform PhoeniX – a development owned by Saab, although it is a modified platform GM. Saab will be able to build on it from multiple machines in length from 4.3 to 5.4 meters, including the SUV. The entire new model range, already saabovsky own, will be built on one platform.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “How’s Saab Doing? It Depends On Who You Ask…...”


  • avatar
    snabster

    Is that news on Phoenix?  Everyone knows it is Epsilon II, although a bit wider.  The concept car also had the front wheels move a bit forward, and putting a 1.6 MINI engine in that space leaves a lot of room.
    Will it be hard to move metal — especially the 9-3 in the US — when everyone is expecting a new car?  Yes, but the have a 9-5 and 9-4x to sell, and that targets means 10K sales in the US.
    VM basically paid $88M for a car factory, wind tunnel and yeah, an entire car company.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    So, there ISN’T going to be a new 9-7x?
     
    Disappointed!

  • avatar
    mpresley

    As a former 93 owner, and someone who enjoyed the car, I can say that in my opinion there is absolutely no compelling reason for anyone to buy a Saab.  This company, like Telsa as another example, is just a way for the owners to bilk governments out of loan money–money that will probably never be paid back, while the principals gain a decent salary.  But what do I know?  Maybe there are enough liberal English professors wearing leisure suits (or is it Levis?) that can keep the company afloat in sales until someone, somewhere, can convince the Chinese to take the plunge.

    • 0 avatar

      A former 93 owner (what MY & model), someone who ENJOYED the car, but has no compelling reason to suggest or buy another. And you moved on? to what?

      Some people think Im a click right of DICK Cheney, but I cant think of a substitute and Ive driven most. 

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      It was a black SE hatch.  Lovely car, quirky, but that’s what made it interesting.  Today the brand is too risky for a person to lay down money on.  I would suggest that anyone interested in a Saab go the German route.  At least you’ll have a company to complain to when the repairs start mounting.

  • avatar
    John R

    How’s about this: start putting Saad badges on Evos.
     
    The pretentious brand snobs will feel more comfortable spending $35k because of its Euro branding, Saad gets to sell a car that’s actually worth a damn and the Lan-Evo continues to live. The 9-2x was their best selling car for the period it sold, wasn’t it?

  • avatar
    JJ

    VEB is a pretty oppertunistic organisation so I wouldn’t take their word on anything without first considering what they have to gain with said word. Their actions following the debacle that was the acquisition of Dutch bank ABN AMRO by a consortium of Santander, RBS and Fortis were less than honourable if you’d ask me.

    That said, in this case they’re probably right…but then blind eyes could look at the situation and see the truth.

    Just saying…Moving on…

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    Any Russian name associated with the car business pretty much means they’ll milk as many subsidies as they can then close shop and run with the money as we saw with TVR.  Any new investors car-makers trying to use the name ‘Phoenix’ is pretty much the same, as we saw with Rover.
     
    So SAAB is doubly screwed.

  • avatar
    MoppyMop

    Saabovsky?  I’d buy one.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    people why the hate with Saab?? Those who love it understand you will not get Honda dependability, but we get some fun with our cars that are different and have some souls, something that is lacking in todays cars, we are the zombie car company Saab can not be killed, we have outlasted all the other GN step children, Pontiac, saturn, Hummer, who evryone thought would out live saab, long live the zombie

  • avatar
    Spartan

    I don’t see Saab selling that many cars.  This may not be a good way to measure their success, but I’ve yet to see a new Saab on the road here in Southern Virginia.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Lorenzo,
                 Please tell Saab I have trade marked the zombie marketing plan, if they will not pay me 1 trillion dollars i will sell it to the penstar/ Fiat Co or Mitsui, or  Lincoln or well you get the idea…..

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I actually saw my first new 9-5 today. Of course, it was pulling of the GM Tech Center, and had manufactuer plates. I don’t know if anyone actually buys them in this country.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India