Victor Muller Plays Maharajah While Suppliers Go Belly-Up

victor muller plays maharajah while suppliers go belly up

Whenever we report about the machinations around Saab, the faithful remind us that there are real people affected. They are right. Some of the real people work for IAC for instance, one of Saab’s largest suppliers. Half of the production of its factory in Färgelanda went to Saab.IAC Sweden could be bankrupt in a few weeks because they don’t’ have the money to pay a 95 million kronor ($ 14.8 million) tax bill, Sweden’s Göteborg Posten reports.

IAC was one of the companies that agreed to a deal with Saab in May and started to deliver dashboards and door trim panels again. Today, they wish they had not. Saab is said to owe IAC 73 million kronor, or some $11.4 million. That would go a long way towards settling the tax bill. When IAC, with their back to the wall, had agreed to the deal in May, they were feted by Saabsunited as heroes. Now, the company turns into a sideshow. Back in May, IAC had to let 200 people go, while Saab workers sat at home, collecting full salaries for doing nothing.

If IAC’s tax bill is not settled by September 19th, the Swedish enforcement agency Kronofogden will come knocking , looking for assets that can be attached. “If they are unsuccessful, the tax office can request to take IAC bankrupt,” writes the Göteborg Posten.

All of this does not seem to worry Victor Muller too much. “Concerned about the impending demise of Saab? Apparently not for the top boss,” wrote the Dutch business newspaper Financieele Dagblad. “Victor Muller cruised along the small lanes in the Red Cross Rally in a giant yellow antique Rolls Royce once used by an Indian maharaja for tiger hunting.”

“You’d think that in such a time Muller has something else on his mind than a silly ride through the beautiful countryside,” said a fellow CEO of a large Dutch company.

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  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Sep 11, 2011

    One apparent reason, not mentioned in the press release, why Wilber Ross recently slammed the brakes on his plan to take IAC into an IPO. The remainder of this IAC plant's production pretty much goes to VCC.

  • Saabista63 Saabista63 on Sep 11, 2011

    So, if SAAB owes them 76% of their tax bill, there must be others who owe them, too. Otherwise, Swedish company taxes must amount to 130% of your cash flow. Which is not to say that SAAB has any right not to pay suppliers, to be clear. Oh, and as for the yellow press: Did anyone read about Victor Muller inviting Kate and Andrew out for dinner in Ascot - with SAAB money he took out of the cash-deck, when no one was watching?

  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.
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