Today, 3,700 employees of Saab received an invitation to come to an all hands meeting tomorrow, Wednesday. It will be a break from the doldrums. In Trollhättan, the lines have been down for three weeks now because Saab has no money to pay parts suppliers, reports Automobilwoche [sub]. Tuesday ended in Sweden without a solution. Suppliers, unions and Swedish politicians demand immediate action, or Saab will go down the drain.
Talk about a Chinese savior has died down. All hopes hinge on Vladimir Antonov, and the sale of the factory to the Russian, well, business man. The problem is: The real estate is collateral for a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Saab told Automobilwoche that the sale is “no sure” due to harsh demands by the EIB.
Antonov’s Swedish spokesman Lars Carlström said that the EIB is making new and much too restrictive demands.
Says Automobilwoche: “Antonov’s involvement as a Saab shareholder had been contractually excluded when Saab changed ownership in 2010. This against a backdrop of CIA information that the Russian had been involved in criminal money laundering. Antonov denies the allegations.”
According to the New York Times, “the onus for rescuing Saab, the struggling Swedish automaker, appeared to shift Tuesday to its former owner, General Motors, whose approval is required to release official financing.” The EIB told the New York Times that “there was no final approval from G.M. on Saab’s liquidity package.”
Spyker reiterated today that it is also considering other financial options with Chinese car manufacturers. The Chinese are an often used bogeyman to prod negotiations along. If that is the case, then Spyker is playing poker with the wrong partners. With government joint venture partners, GM is very much clued in to what is happening on the Chinese side.