By on December 12, 2011

Swedens’ Dagens Industri has it from “several independent sources” that Victor Muller is ready to throw in the towel, and that Saab-owner Swedish Automobile NV will declare bankruptcy this afternoon at the court in Vänersborg. Dagens Industri has not reached Muller.

The usually well informed Sveriges Radio asked around and found nobody who could corroborate the story. SR found a few that say that nothing is in the bush.

One source told Sveriges Radio:

“It is not true at the moment. It depends on whether the Chinese are paying or not.”

Which brings us back to the mysterious transfer slip.

Asking around in China was likewise unproductive.  A “do you understand what’s going on at Saab?” was always answered with a “No, do you?”

Saabsunited breaks its self-imposed silent period (that didn’t last long), likewise cannot confirm the nasty rumors spread by the nasty Dagens Industri, but as a precaution says the fat lady in the dressing room is actually Twiggy:

“But even if it were to be true, please keep in mind that it is in no way the end of Saab. Several companies have risen out of bankruptcy and are today very successful! Lets wait and see what happens!”

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43 Comments on “Our Daily Saab: Dead? Undead?...”

  • avatar

    Perhaps with the appropriately named Phoneix-platform, they will rise form the ashes?

  • avatar

    You missed the best part of SaabsUnited post!

    The reason why Saab might apply for bankruptcy is because: “Victor might be forced to place Saab in bankruptcy in order to secure the employees wages in time for the o so important holiday for christmas”.

  • avatar

    Maybe the Chinese will buy the brand off the Airplane maker when SAAB auto goes under…

  • avatar

    Breaking News: Youngman close to a deal, according to TTELA.

    The parties are close to a deal, and money will soon be transferred, says Rachel Pang. We will complete our agreement very soon, she says, without wanting to go further into detail of what those conditions could mean.

    TT: Why has it taken so long?
    – It’s an extensive agreement.

    TT: When will it be ready?
    – We’re working on it. It will be ready, she says.

    TT: Saab is waiting for a money transfer. How is that going?
    – Money will be transferred, says Rachel Pang, finishing the interview and without answering further questions, like how large sums of money they could possibly be talking about.

    • 0 avatar

      Indeed, looks like Victor is ready to pull yet another rabbit from his hat.

      And indeed, looks like TTAC is pulling yet another piece of shady journalism by ONLY reporting the negative and NEVER reporting the positive.

      Zero journalistic integrity = zero credibility for the Truth about Cars

      Gotta wonder if TTAC’s authors were dropped on their heads when they were young. I’m willing to bet several times.

      • 0 avatar

        It is 2 PM on the east coast of the US.

        Maybe this turns out ok for Saab.

        To prove your point, come up with 1 (just 1) link dated today BEFORE 2 PM Eastern Standard Time, that was stating that this was a good thing.

        I believe it is 7 PM in Sweden. Last I heard, he is in a Swedish debt office. Either he is handing them a check, or he is signing papers saying it is over. How is TTAC and every report on the net today wrong?

      • 0 avatar

        Why all the hate? To me, TTAC bears not only a lot of journalistic integrity, but credibility as well. I have no problem with the integrity of the writers.

        This has simply been a day of conflicting information. I woke up this morning with news all over of rumours that Muller would file for bankruptcy. Followed by news all over later in the afteroon with information on yet another Chinese deal with yet another transfer of money some other day in the future. To me, that’s no bias in favour of negative news. To me, that’s being biased in favour of trying to make sense over getting jizzed by a rabbit in a hat. I can’t see what’s shady journalism reporting any of it, but perhaps you can tell me?

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly what is positive about the SAAB situation that TTAC is somehow purposefully ignoring? Their fantastic sales YTD? Market share of .000002% in their own country this year? Firesale of their assets?
        Do you honestly imply that a check from China is going to save the day? More like prolong the end.

      • 0 avatar

        The fact of the matter is that a car brand or company in financial trouble is news; it could be Saab now or Auburn and Cord in 1937. TTAC has been reporting events as they occur about Saab and has been on top of this story since production ended in April. Saab has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars for years; if the articles seems slanted towards Saab not recovering it is because the writers don’t see Saab revresing this trend given the current situation. The auto business is a high stakes game that requires cash that Saab just doesn’t have. It would take an investor willing to risk at least a billion dollars to ensure Saab’s short to medium term future. If such an investor existed he would most likely get a greater return on his investment by stashing his money in his mattress than in Saab. Some things just aren’t worth investing in.

      • 0 avatar

        @chicawq; Welcome at TTAC. Enjoy the freedom at TTAC and the responsibility that freedom entails. I had to manually rescue your post from the moderation, despite a recurring headache which I have since early childhood. Please familiarize yourself with the FAQ and the Terms of Use, which you have accepted by signing on.

        As for what we write and what we don’t write, this remains solely our own decision. As long as it is read, we write it.

  • avatar

    I thought it was transferred last week …

  • avatar

    Trading in SWAN shares suspended. Some more news from SVD:

    New Youngman-arrangement will save Saab

    December 12, 2011 at 14:18, Updated: December 12, 2011 at 15:04

    Something Bankruptcy Saab was at 14-times not at all. But it may come soon. According to several sources, negotiations with Youngman extremely tough. The core is a new subsidiary, where Youngman is to take half.

    Any bankruptcy decision is not one, but negotiations continue. The essence is that Saab Automobile did not change hands without starting a jointly owned subsidiary, including technology development, where Youngman is to take the half.

    The setup is done to GM should not have to approve the deal because there is no change of ownership of Saab Automobile AB.

    But it’s tough negotiations. In addition, among other things, the Debt Office approve the deal.

    If the agreement goes into place, the idea that Youngman will pay money to Saab to continue to operate during the reorganization.

    But according to sources see it very tough out. A bankruptcy filing could come as early as today. It all depends on where the parties see an end opening. Last on Wednesday, Saab must be able to show good cause for the court not to stop reconstruction.

    Youngman has a lot to lose in a bankruptcy. They would lose all the money they paid in and they would lose face in China. In a bankruptcy, there is according to sources other stakeholders for elements of Saab’s operations, especially with technology. But it is not likely that Saab releases to the Saab brand.

    Jonas Froberg Reporter Enterprise

    08-13 52 92 jonas.froberg @

  • avatar

    Martin Larsson leaves the board of Saab. Interesting, he leaves the board but he is not leaving Saab. I think we are talking about possible liability issues here!

    update: Larsson leaving the board is probably related to tax payments that are due soon. He wants to avoid personal responsibility in case of non-payment.

  • avatar

    Here we go, that explains the sudden panic. Taxes are due and the board could be held personally accountable in case they dont cough up. So this explains why Larsson stepped down. This means Muller now faces full liability.

    From Di.SE:
    Victor Muller is on Monday that he must decide whether he is ready to take the risk to yourself to pay Saab’s government debt. Monday is last day to pay tax and payroll taxes to the Tax, reports TV4.

    If not there is any petition to Vänersborg on Monday and Tax for a few days notice to the state fees are not paid, so end up counting on Muller’s table, according to TV4 West.

    Monday, according to television channel on the last day to pay provisional tax and payroll taxes to the Tax and so far seen no money.

    “I do not see any money yet. But it must go through several gates before we can see it. Latest Saab had paid on time but it took five days before we saw that they had done it, says officer Margaret Ahrbergen to TV4Nyheterna West.

    According to Tuula-Marie Karlsson, associate professor of civil law and expert in the reconstructions, the Victor Muller then personally liable for taxes and fees.

    As long as Martin Larsson was a member of Saab’s board, he had the same responsibilities. The same applies to the union representatives who resigned in June, when wages were delayed for the first time.

    • 0 avatar
      kid cassady

      International business law is not my background, so what happens if Mr. Muller is held personally liable for Saab’s due taxes and a deal does not go through with the Chinese? Will they throw him in jail if he can’t pay up?

      Also, I had made the knee-jerk assumption that Youngman’s primary goal was to wait until Saab was at the brink of death and eat up any non-GM Saab IP (parts of the Phoenix platform) that they could. I hadn’t taken account of the paramount importance of saving face among the Chinese, which assuredly makes this a more interesting set of negotiations.

  • avatar

    Let me guess… The taxes due are 3.3 million euro perhaps?

  • avatar

    Huh? I thought the purpose of creating a corporation is to shield people from personal liabilities?

    • 0 avatar

      Nowadays in some administrations (perhaps in many?) the corporate veil can be lifted to recover unpaid taxes.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know exactly how this works, and we need clarification on the issue. But it could be that the liability issue is part of the reconstruction deal. If a company facing bankruptcy wants to prolong the foreclosure, to have the time to seek other solutions, the matter can be put on hold. The liability issue is what the government agency uses as collateral for not immediately close shop. If Muller wanted time, he bought that with personal liability.

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    Called a local dealership for a friend here in Montreal, I have a brokerage firm and he gave me a pretty wide target, the 9-5 comes all taxes in at 40 000$ CDN for the 2WD leather in white. Still better than an ES-350 or S60 price wise but I can put him in a TSX for 39.5 and spare him headaches. The 9-5 impressed me by it’s size, it’s about 10 inches longer than the TSX, 6 longer than the ES-350 and about 2 inches shorter than the 7 series from BMW­. It really is huge.

    In this segment it’s a bit of an anomaly, especially at that price. This week seems to be the big week for Saab ( and so is every other week ) but if Saab survives this could be a great buy at 40K

  • avatar

    This is really boring. No Saabs have been assembled in almost a year
    Come 6 April. Wake me up when it’s over zzzzzzz

  • avatar

    The story today about bankrupcy came from
    Here is the story that will be printed in tomorrows paper version…

    So, the story will continue :)

  • avatar

    I wouldnt be too sure. You came all the way from SU to share the “good news”. But did you also ask yourself why Muller met with the NDO tonight? Or did you think that Youngman is ready to invest 44 million USD without any pledges? I’m sure that YM is willing to invest, but do you also know what they would like in return?

    • 0 avatar

      Think about this:

      On October 31 Saab said they needed EUR 50 million to survive the reorganisation and they would need another 610 million (from YM & PD) + EUR 63 million from the EIB.
      (page 15)

      And now 1.5 months later Saab would need only $44.75 million [EUR 33.77 million]? Don’t make me laugh!

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not frequent on SU…
      I guess he met NDO since they are responsible for the EIB loan and need to approve changes. Youngman will get some of the rights to the new platform. Noone gives away 44 Million USD.
      For long term, they want to be owners and this seems to be the only way. And I understand for sure that it might alredy be to late du to the issues of last year.

  • avatar

    Dagens Industri claims that Youngman transferred $5 million to Saab:

    And the will receive another 20 million euro on Wednesday and another 10 million euro before the end of the year.

    We will see what happens tomorrow.

  • avatar
    Seán Moloney

    Oh for goodness sake, you people are absolute…ly entitled to your opinions and I, as a decent human being must respect that. I must respect that you seem to believe that Saab is some kind of evil corporation, I must respect that you believe that Saab is the automotive industry’s equivalent of the Soviet Union and that when it fails the people of the world will no longer have any problems. Oh Europe debt crisis, gone. Oh starving children of the world, fed. Oh peak oil, solved (which is kind of ironic seeing as Saab was one of the few that was actually investing greatly in the R&D of alternates). Yes, the day that Saab fails the world will finally be a peace. The people bound by Saab’s evil reign will be enlightened by the words of wisdom coming from the holy pages of TTAC and will now be free to conform to the homogenous mindset shown here day after day.

    You know, there once was a day when people actually hoped that a little guy would make it, even if just to prove that it was possible, that the world wasn’t a dictatorship of overpowering conglomerates flush with all the riches one could dream of. But alas, there is no room for individuality in a world of homogeny. There is no room on the playground for the unpopular kid. So when you see him, bash him. And when he hits the ground curled up in a little ball pleading for you to stop, kick him in the face, break his little nose, and when you’ve finished, leave him there to die. Nobody will care, nobody wants him here anyway right?

    • 0 avatar

      At this point Saab isn’t an evil corporation, it is just a corporation that can’t sell enough of its product or raise enough money to continue keeping the business going. Thousands of car companies have failed: Saab will just become the most recent. No one will invest in the little guy if it looks like failure is imminent.

  • avatar

    I don’t honestly believe anyone here from the author of these posts to the commenters truly believe that about Saab. What is seen by most people here is simply the writing on the wall and it’s been there a long time regarding Saab’s situation and real place in the business, which is by all rights it should be out of business.

    The corporate governence provided by Spyker and VM since taking it over from GM has been nothing short of completely ridiculous. It should be apparent to anyone with any shred of objectivity or eyes in their head that VM has gotten himself in way over his head.

    What really made anyone here think that a company that wasn’t even a bit player in the global marketplace could effectively manage and fund a large operation like Saab where billions of dollars and the management and global toybox of General Motors failed? The whole idea that Spyker could do this was completely silly, which I said at the time on Autoblog.

    Even if GM had allowed the Chinese to take over the company and they gave them billions in funds it would change nothing about Saab’s actual sales (which are low), much too low to sustain the operation as is without serious cost cutting or moving most of it to China. If that had happen would Saab still be Saab? I don’t think so, it’d be similar to what MG is today, a label stuck on Chinese cars from China. Is this what real Saab fanatics actually want?

    I happen to like Pontiacs a whole lot, especially the classic ones, but as a fan I recognized the name’s best days were far behind it and while some of the newer cars gave hope the writing was on the wall for that brand as well. The best thing for it was to discontinue it and cherish the great cars that did wear the name.

    Perhaps Saab fans should find the maturity to do the same.

    • 0 avatar
      Seán Moloney

      GM failed because it is GM. Honestly anybody who believes that GM made an effort with Saab is delusional. What was it 4 models in 20 years? Not counting the plagiarised 9-2X and 9-7X. We start in 1989, with the first new model to come in 1994 the 900/9-3. 1998 9-5. 2003 9-3. 2010, 9-5. That is an unacceptable amount of time between all new models and its all GM’s fault. The only time GM actually decided to make an effort was right before it sold it. Ala 9-4x New 9-5, 9-3x

      If I remember correctly Skoda wasn’t exactly a world class brand when VW took it over, and look at it now. They’ve already sold in excess of 700,000 cars this year. Hardly the nicest looking cars on the planet, but a well managed brand. Something GM knows nothing about, look at their current issues with Opel. GM knows nothing about Europe and European cars and should leave them all alone.

      • 0 avatar

        GM failed because it is GM.

        And GM was able to acquire SAAB because SAAB itself was failing.

        If I remember correctly Skoda wasn’t exactly a world class brand when VW took it over, and look at it now.

        Fortunately, VW had the good sense to realize that Skoda’s best use was a low-cost producer of tweaked VWs. With German labor costs being what they are, there was a market for such a thing.

        GM didn’t do well with Saab, it’s true. But if GM had had its act together, then Saab would probably now more closely resemble BMW than anything similar to what Saab used to be.

        GM should have borrowed the three-tier product model from the Germans, and moved Saab up market so that it was a direct rival with BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus. Near-luxury sold at a discount just isn’t much of a niche. It didn’t work for the Swedes, it didn’t work for GM and it isn’t going to work tomorrow for anyone else.

  • avatar

    Even if the money arrives, the conditions of that agreement may not survive scrutiny. It all boils down to selling the company to the Chinese without saying so on paper. Because GM wouldn’t simply accept that kind of deal. So, Muller would likely continue to stand as a frontman, while the company would the facto be taken over by the Chinese. Would the court accept that kind of shenanigans? Would GM silently accept?

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