By on June 8, 2011

Saab was supposed to reach 100% production speed sometime in the middle of last week after enduring a nearly two-month shutdown. But now it seems that more “material shortages” have brought the Trollhättan plant to its knees again, as Steve Wade of inside.saab.com reports

Yesterday, production at Saab Automobile stopped at lunchtime due to material shortages. We have now stopped again today for the same reasons…

The liquidity situation is still tense, and depends on several different financing solutions falling into place, long-term as well as short-term. Some milestones have been achieved, such as the letter of intent signed with Pang Da and the additional funding that their order of Saab cars means. An example of things that still await a solution is the sale and leaseback of Saab AB Property, which we have addressed in previous communications. Representatives from Spyker and Saab will continue to work with these solutions, while the dialogue between Saab and suppliers progresses.

According to one supplier quoted in GP.se, Saab has worked out new payment terms with its just-in-time suppliers, but still needs to work through issues with so-called batch suppliers. Swedish supplier sources confirm [via AN [sub]] that some suppliers still have not been paid, and have yet to restart their own production lines. And though official statements from Saab executives and spokespeople emphasize that this stoppage was not unforeseen and will be resolved, nobody at Saab seems ready to give a date for a production restart. Swedish media outlets have reported that production has been called off for the remainder of the week, though, and some suppliers have sent their workforces home.

And while the short term situation reverts from “glimmers of hope” to “same old sadness,” Saab also seems to be soft-pedaling the importance of its Pang Da deal, which Bertel and numerous other commentators have argued will not be approved by the Chinese government. Automotive News [sub] reports

“It’s tough for me to predict but I think everybody expects [the Pang Da deal] to come through,” Saab President and COO Tim Colbeck said at a media luncheon in New York on Tuesday.

If approved, the Pang Da deal could be a mid-term solution to Saab’s financial woes, Colbeck said. “Midterm” means at least through the end of 2012, he said, adding that Saab’s message to dealers right now is to focus on the company’s long-term potential.

“If this deal fails, it’s on to the next one. There are a lot of people looking to invest in Saab,” he said. There is no timeline for a final decision from the Chinese government on the Pang Da deal, he said.

But how many people can really be that interested in investing in Saab when only 385 Americans invested in actual Saab cars last month (around 1,600 global units for the month), and only 3,150 people have bought Saabs in the US market since the beginning of the year? And with production falling apart just days after Saab’s CEO said he would ensure that a shutdown wouldn’t happen again, this feels like the beginning of the end of the end for Saab.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

11 Comments on “Saab Shuts Down Again, Situation “Tense,” No End In Sight...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Hardly a surprise. Sometimes the patient does twitch and move a bit before the end.

    In the best of circumstances, Trollhättan fate will be similar to Longbridge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longbridge_plant

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The charade needs to end. The car in that photo – or the last actual Saab – may become valuable some day, at least to a True Believer of the brand.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    The whole situation is just so sad… I admire the effort of all the people trying to keep ‘the patient’ alive, but still, one wonders. The automotive market is tough enough for a company without such dire problem to compete (witness Mitsubishi), is there any realistic hope for Saab at all? I mean, these dedicated people can probably keep Saab around (barely) for a while longer, by doing what they’re doing right now, but at some point a car company needs to be competitive, not just exists. Bigger, seemingly more viable car company than Saab has bitten the dust in the past.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Does anyone really care anymore? If worldwide SAAB fans would buy the cars now, the company stands a chance of surviving. No, they only carp about how great their 1973 SAAB is and hope the company survives so they can buy parts.

    Adios SAAB :(……

  • avatar
    ChesterChi

    “If this deal fails, it’s on to the next one. There are a lot of people looking to invest in Saab,”

    Yes, I’m sure there is a line forming outside the door at the Saab headquarters. The line consists of people holding suitcases full of large bills, begging SAAB for permission to invest and give them their money.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    “Bring out your dead”

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Kicking a dead horse just isn’t that satisfying.

  • avatar
    plattform

    I was at that lunch with Tim Colbeck and 8 other people. I sat across from him when he said that. I even recorded it on my iPhone using Voice Recorder. Right after explaining that, he said that he wasn’t involved in the talks but from all indications they were confident the deal would go through. His quote merely meant that there are other interested parties is just that. You would have never guessed a Chinese auto distributor would be interested a month ago, yet here we are with the deal on the table.

  • avatar
    eldard

    They should sell the car exactly like that to save money.


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
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India