By on April 27, 2011

So Saab had called an all hands meeting for today. 3,700 employees attended with great expectations or knots in their stomachs. This could have been the first day of a great future or the last of Saab. Instead  ….

… employees “were given an update on the situation” and told to continue to stay home because “the production line is not able to run normally,” spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs told AFP. There is nothing wrong with the line. There is everything wrog with Saab’s and Spyker’s financing.

Meanwhile, the Swedish government begins to tire of the issue. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson said today that the Sweden will not  save Saab’s bacon if it is unable to secure the cash to keep the lights on.

“We have done as much as we could,” Olofsson told news agency TT.

Unless a miracle happens, those employees will stay home for a long time.

 

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27 Comments on “Saab’s Workers Told To Stay At Home...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    (old joke I know but…)
     
    Is this the end of our Saab story?

  • avatar
    Verbal

    This can’t be good.

  • avatar
    John R

    Can somebody please get a shotgun…

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Saab beats Chrysler on the deathwatch? I thought for sure it woulda been the other way around..
    Let’s see what happens..

  • avatar
    SecretAznMan

    That’s interesting because SaabsUnited says otherwise.  They say workers are being put to good use training for the upcoming (hopefully) start up of 9-5 SC production and other process improvements.  http://www.saabsunited.com/2011/04/saabsunited-exclusive-production-preparations.html#more-14827

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Sounds like Delphi all over again.  GM tried to dump it and ended up with the tarbaby all over itself.  SAAB is toast.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    This is painful just to read about.  I can only imagine the feelings of those whose finances are caught up in this: workers, suppliers, dealers, owners of Saabs under warranty (what happens to them?).
    Of course, the reality is that everyone who is able, is, one way or another, jumping ship.  Finding a new job, etc.
    I think the name for this is “death spiral.”

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Hmm… I wonder what kind of discounts new 9-5s will be going for. If you’ve got the balls (and can find one), there are probably gonna be some smokin’ deals out there. Hell, they’ll probably be even more exclusive than that hopped-up Porsche up there!

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I have seen a few brand new 2010 9-3 wagons selling for over $12k below MSRP on AutoTrader.  I am seriously tempted on picking one up but service and parts availability in the coming years could be very iffy.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Well for the mechanical bits you really just need to trace the cars DNA.  Which model from another manufacturer shares mechanical bits?  BTW I know there’s a website out there for Saturn enthusiasts to keep their rides running (even first generation cars with the unique engines.)

  • avatar
    1st_one

    There is no hope for Saab, oh well……..bring me the shotgun.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/28/saab-debtoffice-idUSWEA732920110428

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      If Sweden is sincere about not wanting to flush any more taxpayer loot down this particular toilet, I imagine the gangsters will lose interest. What is the point of buying Saab’s carcass if there isn’t any prospect of stealing a couple billion bailout bucks?

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Say, here’s a question – what happens if you’re leasing a car and the manufacturer goes bust? If Saab itself is handling the leases, and disappears in a puff of smoke, what do you do? Presumably someone is going to try to recover money for the creditors / investors, but I doubt they’d want to get into the leasing business. So if there’s no parent company to take over, what’s the deal?

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Since you are renting the car, my guess is you would have to return the car and it would be liquidated along with the rest of the assets.

      • 0 avatar

        Car finance firms own the cars being leased. Leased cars do not appear on the books of the car makers.

        Cars are booked as “sold” as soon as they’re shipped to dealers and form part of the dealer’s floor plan finance. Captive finance folks take ownership of the cars under lease from the dealer, not the manufacturer, so they’re not assets the car company’s administrators can liquidate. The only cars that could be liquidated are those waiting to be shipped and those in shipping that are not yet “sold” to a dealer or sold to a customer.

        This is why it’s easier to get a 91 day old brand new car off a dealer for a bargain than one delivered yesterday.

    • 0 avatar

      In our case when Ford Credit didn’t want to do car loans any more, our loan was sold to another finance firm. You shouldn’t notice anything change – the car (the asset) is not worth the potential return on the lease, so I’m pretty sure you’ll still be locked into the lease until it’s done.

      No idea what happens at the end. Normally, you’d return the car and any balloon payment owing to the dealer, but my guess is that there will be no dealers, so there’s a good chance you’ll be offered some sweet terms to own the car after the lease is done. Alternatively, the leasing firm probably has alignment with some other major brands, and you may be required to attend their aligned brand dealer to do the handover. Hard to say until your lease is sold on.

      As noted elsewhere, this has happened to other brands (Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Smart under Penske, etc), so it’s not like the car industry and its captive finance folks are stuck for ideas when these things happen.

  • avatar
    kid cassady

    Antonov’s been approved as a shareholder at long last, which means that they’ll receive the liquidity injection they need to stay afloat. It looks like TTAC’s poor commentariat will have to wait at least a few more months before they can excitedly cheer on the death of a car company with rich history and promise.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Interesting Volvo v. Saab narrative.  One is bought by a big US company, is nurtured (even to the exclusion of its core lines), has its pipeline filled with fairly appealing product, and is then cut loose.  The other is bought by a big US company that never understood it, has its pipeline filled with badge-engineered product that is not all that appealing (certainly not to its core demographic) and is then cut loose.  Like being cast adrift in a lifeboat with no provisions.  Volvo at least got some provisions for the voyage.  The result is hardly surprising, but still a little sad for me.
    I am not really part of Saab-land, but have always had a soft spot for its unique and quirky nature.  Goodbye, Saab.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      Lots of people wail and tear their hair out over GM’s ownership of Saab but they ignore the facts. Saab was dying when GM bought them in 1989. All they had were the 22-year-old 900 and the half-caste 9000, and sales of both had been falling through the floor. Saab had tried to move upmarket and ended up failing. There were no new products in the Saab pipeline so GM had to essentially start from scratch when they bought the company. The new 900 for 1994 was a real effort on GM’s part to keep the Saab-ness and those who fuss and cry about the Opel parts in it conveniently forget that the 9000 was a restyled Fiat/Lancia with a Saab engine. However the 900 didn’t sell and neither did the later 9-5, so GM began cutting corners and making compromises to try to make the division profitable. That didn’t work either. 

      Maybe Saab should have been allowed to die in 1990.

      • 0 avatar
        srogers

        Yes, SAAB was rescued from certain death by GM. GM then proceeded to “nurture” their investment by making bad, boring cars. When these didn’t magically sell in high numbers, GM wisely cut costs and waited until no one would buy their cars.

      • 0 avatar
        kid cassady

        Platform sharing is a way of life, moreso now in 2011 than in the early 90s. So the 9000 was built on a shared Group Four platform, your archetypal Fiat/Lancia with a Saab engine. What is your point, exactly? As a well-appointed hatchback with its turbo engine it did what Saab wanted it to do, and it did it admirably. Do you lament Acuras as platform-shared Honda mongrels as well?

        I own a ’94 9000 Aero as a daily driver, and it’s an incredibly versatile package that manufacturers can’t bring themselves to replicate even today. Sixty in under 6.5 seconds, incredible passing speed, cavernous hatchback, compact proportions with lots of room and a beautiful interior. It’s the hope of the Saab diehards – sometimes deluded, overly optimistic hope – that the new offerings of this independent Saab will achieve something like it again.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        kid cassady:

        Did you read my comment? Where did I say that the 9000 was a bad car? Don’t get so defensive. My point was that those who whined about the new 900 being based on an Opel were forgetting that the 9000 was also a shared-platform car.

        There is no escaping the fact that sales of the 9000 in the US were a disappointment because it was seen as being too expensive. Up until the ’80s, Saab had been a purveyor of moderately-priced (but not cheap) and charmingly quirky cars. Not many people were prepared to pay BMW or Audi money for a 9000, though, and that badly hurt Saab’s finances in the late ’80s.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    where are the Saab stories about how this will impact the economy or what not? Maybe Saab’s fate was decided by consumers, with assistance from a really stupid GM leadership that decided to water down the brand.

    I was looking for our usual gadfly who accuses us of Saabhate but no show. Maybe we can put a happy face on this situation somehow.

    At least it’s not my tax money that is being lost.

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