Saab Refuses To Confirm (Or Rule Out) Court-Protected Reorganization
Swedish radio cites an unnamed source close to Saab as saying the troubled automaker was preparing to file for court-protected reorganization, as it struggles to pay workers and restart production. Under that scenario, Sweden would pay worker salaries while reorganization takes place. But at the company’s official mouthpiece, inside.saab.com, a press release refuses to deny or rule out that Saab has chosen this route. The release reads:
Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) is aware of certain reports in Swedish media related to a possible filing by Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) for a voluntary reorganization under Swedish law.
Swan confirms its earlier announcements that it is in discussions with several parties to secure the short and medium term funding of Saab Automobile to restart and sustain production. In order to secure the continuity of Saab Automobile, Swan and Saab Automobile are evaluating all available options. Swan will update the market in case of new developments.
This non-denial might be read as a confirmation that Saab is considering filing for court protection, but hasn’t yet decided on that course of action. Meanwhile, Saab has delayed its latest financial report, and its online PR rep continues to blame the media for concluding that because Saab can’t sell cars, pay suppliers, restart production or even pay salaries on time it’s destined for bankruptcy court.
In the comments section of the posted press release quote above, Saab PR man Steve Wade writes
I understand that Saab’s situation creates some degree of uncertainty. But surely the whirlpool that’s surrounding this company in the press happens – in the press and at their instigation.
There are reports all over the place about the things that “might” happen to Saab. We’re not the ones writing them but we’re the ones who have to deal with the fallout. We’re doing the same things we’ve said all along – negotiating and trying to get the right deal done and finished. This was serious, so we responded. But if we respond to every specific allegation about what “might” happen to us then you get a crazy game of back-and-forth that the press will keep playing until they hit a desired target.
Expect this whirlpool to continue until a deal is done. Why? Because it sells papers. It gets views. We take our share of the blame about our situation. I don’t think we can shoulder all the blame over the public’s perception of it because we can’t outrun the press and we can’t report on things that aren’t done and finalised.
I was with Wade through the first sentence. Then he lost me. Blaming the media for adding one plus one and getting two only increases the perception that Saab’s only hope for a rescue is finding someone who is not aware of how bad things have become. In fact, I would argue that it’s almost irresponsible journalism to report Saab’s circumstances without including some reference to the likelihood of bankruptcy.
And Wade’s argument, that the Saab story “sells papers,” doesn’t jive with my experience: our Saab coverage gets consistently lower pageviews than other, unrelated content, and it doesn’t generate the kinds of strong, engaging comment threads that other pieces do. The fact of the matter is that most people think Saab went out of business years ago, and the only people still aware of its existence are desperate for this sad, drawn-out, slow-motion-death-rattle to be over. Not only does nobody take joy at Saab’s passing, most went through the grieving process when GM sold the brand (if they didn’t already do so when GM bought the brand). The idea that hordes of media consumers are driving a feeding frenzy around Saab’s decaying corpse is downright absurd. Almost as absurd as the idea that Saab will secure new investment and find its way out of this situation without falling into the arms of the bankruptcy courts.
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
- Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
- Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
- Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
- Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
Ed, Please don't take TTAC's comments numbers as the sole measure of the feeding frenzy around Saab. I certainly wasn't thinking of TTAC when I wrote about that. The most prominent place for Saab stories is, naturally, in Sweden. Here we have new stories literally every day that either dig up old stories and put a new twist on them or speculate with a laser focus on the most pessimistic option possible, as to what 'might' happen to Saab in the coming hours/days/weeks. And then there's the other stuff, like one of the papers this week that took photos of a house under construction that's owned by two of our staff members (a married professional couple with kids - God forbid they should ever build a home). They even doorknocked the neighborhood to see if the house bothered people, etc. This is the level of stuff that we're dealing with here, now. You can deny it if you want, but here in Sweden especially, Saab=pageviews right now and for all the wrong reasons. And the lengths that the media are willing to go to for a scoop are getting more and more extraordinary. From your own site - number of stories mentioning Saab in the last 8 days - (at least) four. I can think of one other major story in the automotive sphere that I'd personally read as being pretty scandalous and a search through your archive shows one short story about it, with no attempts a deep-dive discussion like going through articles or comments for quotes as you've done here, and no follow-up. How about what would be for TTAC, a devil's advocate story? How about a look at what Saab's got going for it if/when a short term deal is done that can carry us through to the longer term deals we have in place with the Chinese? If you look, and you don't have to dig too deep, you'll see that there's a lot of very good stuff going on here in Sweden. Steven Wade inside.saab.com
So let's say if/when the short term financing comes through, and you can actually keep the lights on for a few more months. Then what? Do you really think that buyers are going to start beating down the doors for a 9-4X: essentially an SRX with the old motors that the press trashed and Cadillac dumped? Or the 9-5, a car ludicrously overpriced and simply not competitive in any way against anyone else's product, save for the real bottom of the barrel stuff that the other guys also can't give away (Volvo S80 and Acura RL)? I know, I know you'll say sure these products are mediocre GM throwaways, but the 9-3 is coming! That's what you were gonna say, right? And I suppose shoppers are just going to come streaming out of their C-classes, A4s, and oh *BRAND NEW BMW 3 SERIES* (otherwise known as the unstoppable Juggernaut in that segment) and straight to the Saab dealer (assuming they are still in business). Be serious man. It's over. You had a good ride. There's just no room left for two Swedish sorta-kinda luxury brands (especially when they get delusional enough to start charging German prices). Volvo won, you lost. Did you see what HP did with WebOS? Do that. Shut it down.