Our Daily Saab: Unplugged

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
our daily saab unplugged

December 16 is the day Saab’s fate will be decided. Court appointed administrator Guy Lofalk, who yesterday was ready to pull the plug, pulled it today. Currently, Saab is under creditor protection. However, Lofalk asked the Vänersborg District Court to lift the protection, opening the door to final bankruptcy. In a statement cited by Reuters, Lofalk said:

“Since the required funding has not been received and the stated schedule not been kept, the (Saab) companies lack the ability to pay upcoming liabilities.”

Lofalk also named General Motors’ unwillingness to approve proposed deals. GM had driven what looks like the final nail in the coffin, by denying the deal that was proposed a few days ago:

“We have reviewed Saab’s proposed changes regarding the sale of the company. Nothing in the proposal changes GM’s position. We are unable to support the transaction.”

GM appears to be unwilling to support any sale involving its technology, and without that technology, Saab is worthless. The proposed investors, including a Russian banker who had his banks taken away and who is out on bail, an alleged hedge fund of doubtful pedigree, and a Chinese busmaker, did not install much confidence.

The court in Sweden gave Saab and its creditors until December 15 to submit their opinions. A day after, the court will render a decision. Says Reuters:

“Ending protection from creditors would open the way for them to file for Saab’s bankruptcy. The court already has one claim, which is under suspension.”

Even at Saabsunited, the last bastion of optimism, the moral is sinking:

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

Automotive News China [sub] reports that “Saab Automobile AB is holding discussions with China’s Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and a Chinese bank over borrowing about 600 million euros (5 billion yuan) over two years.”

The source of that news is Victor Muller. Basically, what he is proposing is that instead of buying stock, the investment will be made as a loan, most likely secured by what is left of Saab. Good luck with that.

If Saab defaults on the loan, the lender would end up with a Saab shouldered with humongous legacy costs, and with no technology from GM.

Muller told Bloomberg he would need the loan in a “very few days” to avert bankruptcy.

In a very few days? A loan? From China? Is that Muller’s way to say: “It’s over?”

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  • Binkje Binkje on Dec 09, 2011

    Interesting background information on mr. antonov: http://rumafia.com/news.php?id=459

  • Binkje Binkje on Dec 09, 2011

    Saab Automobile's administrator Guy Lofalk reports that the company has borrowed new money without his knowledge. It is against the rules of law for a company, write Lofalk in the notification. Guy Lofalk notifies Saab Automobile to have pulled on a debt of EUR 3.3 million, about 30 million, during the reorganization. It is a task that Lofalk himself to be found out on 8 December and then only after he sought to stop reconstruction. The new debt may be due to the liquidity situation is not paid, writes Guy Lofalk in its notification to Vänersborg: "This debt has been incurred without my knowledge or my consent." The administrator determines that the conduct is contrary to the provisions of the law for reorganization and against his instructions to the company. Saab Automobile has until December 15 at 13.00 to provide comments on the notification.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂