Ultimatum: Pay Up, NEVS, Or The Saab Deal Is Off

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Part of Saab’s presumptive “quirky” image is a serious lack of funds. Saab “bled red like a stuck pig” as Car & Driver so delicately put it. Saab was sold when GM ran out of money. Victor Muller didn’t have the funds, and Saab’s future owner, Made-in-China Swede Jiang Dalong also seems to suffer the cash flow problem that is so familiar to all who touch Saab. The presumptive buyer has received an ultimatum by the bankruptcy administrators: Pay in full until Friday, or the deal is off.

Sweden’s Dagens Industri writes that the administrators had a meeting with NEVS chairman Karl-Erling Trogen last week to check where the money might be. DI figures that what they heard in the meeting “must have upset the administrators.”

Trogen is the freshly minted chairman of the freshly minted National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), Jiang Dalong’s company that was minted to take over the remaining assets of Saab. The purchase price has never been made public, but DI figures it to be in the neighborhood for $274 million. Those need to be on the table by Friday. So far, NEVS has only made a down payment of approximately $23 million, and the administrator wants the full monte now.

According to DI’s sources, Jiang Dalong has “problems with prospective financiers in Sweden, because the Saab brand is not included in the deal.” Jiang previously said that the Saab brand (which definitely was not part of the package) is not crucial to the deal. He also claimed that NEVS is backed by his rich Hong Kong company and the rich Japanese venture capital company “Sun Investment LLC.” TTAC had doubts as to the financial wherewithal of both, we also could not find a “Sun Investment LLC” in Japan.

It does not surprise us that Jiang does not have the $274 million. It also does not surprise us that he needs Chinese backers, and it furthermore does not surprise us that they are getting cold feet. It would furthermore not surprise us if Jiang is a straw man for Chinese interests – who lost interest.

Even just-auto, so far one of the few remaining supporters of the Saab cause, has been led astray:

“Mystery continues to surround widespread speculation in Stockholm that National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) is about to pull the plug on its proposed buy-out of bankrupt Saab. NEVS has played a coy game for the past couple of months, constantly insisting to just-auto the deal for Saab would be completed “during this summer,” but rumours are now swirling around Sweden the agreement could collapse as early as this week.”

Just-auto’s favorite for who might come and pick up the pieces for really cheap when the NEV deal falls apart: Youngman.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • -Cole- -Cole- on Aug 28, 2012

    Lament Pontiac instead. Much more lamentable. Fuck SAAB

  • Voyager Voyager on Sep 01, 2012

    Btw, according to LifeWithSaab: "which cites Svenska Dagbladet, truck developer and manufacturer Scania AB can not deny Saab Automobile the use of the Gripen (Griffin) emblem. Svenska Dagbladet has spoken to Henrik Klackenberg from Sweden's National Archives. According Klackenberg, the Gripen emblem does not belong to Scania but has been in the possession of Malmö Municipality the last 500 years. As early as 1437, Malmö had a red griffin as a city emblem. In other words, it is not up to Scania to decide whether Saab Automobile can use the Gripen, it is up to Malmö Municipality or possibly the county of Skåne."

  • Lorenzo 1 million barrels is 42 million gallons. The country uses 368 million gallons a DAY. The reserve was set aside after Hurricane Sandy caused a gasoline shortage for emergency vehicles. The hurricane season starts on June 1 and is predicted to be active. Nice going.
  • Chuck Norton Toolguy- I have. It's hard on the knees...
  • EBFlex Welp the corpse is at it again. They think they can buy votes by selling off from the SPR. The best thing they could do to get votes is close the border and start deporting people. That would guarantee them a win in November. As of right now though, they are not doing that and Trump is rising in the polls every day.
  • Jalop1991 What is this "dealer" thing Ford speaks of?
  • Picard234 So this release amounts to 2.7 hours of gasoline consumption in the US. You won't even see a penny. The administration is draining the reserves for political optics, nothing more.