While other manufacturers have problems getting parts, Saab has problems getting parts. But for different reasons.
“Production at Saab stopped for a second day on Wednesday as the money-losing automaker faces payment problems with its suppliers,” reports Automotive News [sub]. They add that Saab said it will start production again on Thursday, after money problems have been settled. According to the Automotive News report, Saab made a very inadvisable move: They did not pay their shipping company.
Saab spokesman Eric Geers told AN that Saab “had fruitful talks with transport firm Schenker, which would start deliveries to Saab again and allow production to resume.” Schenker is one of the world’s largest shipping companies and 100 percent owned by the German Railroad. In the business, you always pay your freight company, simply because they can make your life miserable by holding your freight at ransom. And that’s just for starters.
AN says that Schenker isn’t the only one that is waiting to get paid. “The information that we got at the end of last week was that suppliers have not been paid by Saab,” Svenake Berglie, chief of Sweden’s FKG association of car industry suppliers told a public radio station. He also conveyed that suppliers with which he had spoken were very angry. Unwise move #2: If you want to build cars, you need parts.
According to Automotive News, Spyker is hoping for new money from a familiar source: Vladimir Antonov. Says Automotive News:
“Antonov has been a long-time business partner of Spyker CEO Victor Muller and used to have a near 30 percent stake in Spyker. Spyker has already sold its sports car division to Antonov and the Russian said last week he would like to return to a 30 percent shareholding in Spyker-Saab. “
“He has said he was forced out of the original deal for Spyker to buy Saab from General Motors Co. after being suspected of being connected with organized crime.”
“He has said investigations have cleared him and that GM is ready to let him back as a shareholder.”
Schenker and the Swedish parts makers will be delighted to hear that.