EIB Says No To Antonov. Suppliers Say No Scrooge McDuck Will Save Saab

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
eib says no to antonov suppliers say no scrooge mcduck will save saab

Now that it has been first leaked then confirmed that the European Investment Bank EIB will not let Russian financier Vladimir Antonov get close to Saab, Antonov says he had known that all along.

Antonov’s spokesman Lars Carlstrom told Reuters that his boss “has known for a few weeks that the EIB would not let him invest in the iconic Swedish car firm,” Reuters reports. That revelation should come as another blow to Saab’s crumbling bastion of enthusiasm, Saabsunited, which had reported just yesterday that “Antonov is trying to save the situation.”

With the troops left dazed and demoralized, the generals practice the ancient art of finger pointing.

  • Carlstrom told Reuters that the EIB is taking its cue from the Swedish government, and that “the Swedish government has stopped us investing 100 million euros ($143.6 million) in Saab. They are ready to risk 4,000 jobs.”
  • At the Swedish government, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications spokeswoman Johanna Martin said today: “We have been clear all along. When the EIB and GM give their approval, we are ready to do the same.”
  • GM had given its approval back in April, but attached a long list of conditions, which were kept secret and most likely unmet.
  • The EIB broke its silence today and said that its loan to Saab had been made under the condition that Antonov is not part of the deal, Dagens Industri reports. The bank had made that clear in 2009, and it had not changed.
  • Carlstrom says Antonov still wants to be an owner in Saab and is working on a way to repay the 217 million euro loan due to the EIB, and that a deal should be coming in a few weeks.

While the principals hold hands and sing Ring around the Rosy, there are unambiguous words from the parties that really hold Saab hostage: The suppliers. No parts, no cars. No money, no parts. The suppliers have had it, and they are busy driving Saab — into bankruptcy.

Lars Holmqvist, head of the European supplier association CLEPA, told Dagens Industri:

The important thing for us is that Antonov is not a solution. This is not a matter where a Scrooge McDuck goes in with a lot of money. The basic problem is that Saab does not sell cars. They sold 28,600 cars last year. One cannot survive on that in our industry.”

From the bunkers of Trollhättan comes the latest and possibly last sign that the end is near . Writes Saabsunited:

“Lars Carlström states to SaabsUnited that this makes it clear that government has played a double role in the matter having one version of the story to the public, Saab and Vladimir Antonov and another inwards. They have effectively lied to the Swedish people, Saab and everyone else which could have caused damages in amounts as high as billions of swedish crowns. There has been several hundreds of lawyers involved in this process and has taken a lot of time and resources away from both Vladimir Antonov and Saab.

This could very well cause a crisis inside the government of the country and could potentially lead to a change in leadership!”

Hubris till the bitter end. Can’t run a car company, but threaten to take a government down with them. The revelation that Muller and Antonov may have lied to the troops will come after the last stages of grief have taken their due course.

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3 of 8 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Jul 28, 2011

    How about Malcom Bricklin ?

  • 1000songs 1000songs on Jul 28, 2011

    Forgive me if I'm missing the obvious here, as my narcolepsy tends to flare up whenever I see a SAAB, never mind read yet another article about the company's imminent demise; if the EIB is vetoing the injection of dirty money from Antonov, isn't the answer to pay off the EIB loan? I know that's easier said than done, given that the company is broke and they owe an ungodly sum to the EIB, but still, isn't the answer just to get rid of the EIB???

    • CurtInFalcon CurtInFalcon on Jul 28, 2011

      This is precisely what Saab is attempting to do. They are working with commercial banks to take on the loan so that Antonov can ride in and save the day. I'd be very suprised though, to see any bank take on such a risky loan.

  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged
  • Albert Also owned a 1959 Continental Mark IV coupe for 20 years and loved every minute!