By on August 13, 2014

First_Saab_9-3_pre-production_vehicle

Saab’s newest parent company may soon be declared bankrupt by a Swedish court, once again bringing the make toward the grave.

The Detroit News reports supplier Labo Test has petitioned the court to declare National Electric Vehicles of Sweden bankrupt after failing to receive kr150,000 ($22,000 USD) since February 2014. The supplier provides testing tools to automakers for quality testing of auto parts.

Sveriges Radio adds that CEO Håkan Bodin has no “hard feelings against NEVS,” and would be joyful to receive money owed from the company’s Chinese owners. NEVS communication officer Mikael Östlund, meanwhile, states that though his employer “cannot fully pay any of its suppliers,” NEVS itself is not insolvent.

The bankruptcy hearing, to be held in district court in Vänersborgs, is scheduled for September 8.

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21 Comments on “Saab’s Newest Owners Face Bankruptcy Petition In Sweden...”


  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well that is a shock! I am a big Saab fan and have owned three of them, but this was doomed from the start, but it seems Saab will not die, like a zombie they live on, someone else will try to buy the brand and spin some story so they can go belly up in 24 months. They had a good run for what they were , sad to see them go but they died a long time ago, I am sure the Bartel is smiling this AM.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      I’m a SAAB lover too. If it lives on, I expect it will be as a Chinese marque in China, and maybe eventually be exported. I guess we’ll see if this is the end…

  • avatar
    piffpaff

    The supplier Labo Test has withdrawn the application for NEVS’s bankruptcy after a meeting with NEVS and receiving information about the company’s plans for the future including NEVS’s discussions with potential investors and partners. So it seems that they convinced one tiny creditor about the viability of their plans…
    Article in Swedish:
    http://www.di.se/artiklar/2014/8/13/drar-tillbaka-konkursansokan/

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Because building cars is easy, and everyone wants a Saab.

    You’re running pretty close if $22k is all that separates you from bankruptcy.

    • 0 avatar
      piffpaff

      It is not necessarily that they are $22K away from bankruptcy; according to Swedish law any creditor who is owed money and has not been paid in a timely manner can ask that the non-payer is declared bankrupt at the relevant court. This legal trick is mostly used by less serious and/or frustrated creditors to pressure an unwilling but solvent debtor into paying. In theory, the debt causing this application could be SEK 0.01 (equivalent to USD 0.001456) and still grounds for bankruptcy if the debt is undisputed and due.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Your explanation is helpful, but why would NEVS play this game if they’re actually able to pay the bill?

        • 0 avatar
          piffpaff

          Because of their liquidity / cash flow problems they are stalling all payments other than salaries, taxes and perhaps some key suppliers – they stopped production in May but they are still paying assembly workers to do nothing. So they are able to pay the $22K bill but they prefer to spend the money on keeping more important stakeholders happy (employees, government, key suppliers). That makes sense if there is a high probability for new financing coming through.

          The fact that this bankruptcy threat came from a small, non-production material supplier who withdrew the petition after getting more information indicates that the bigger production material suppliers already had that information and feel confident enough to not want to disturb the rescue activities at this point. This is supported by the head of the Swedish association of automotive suppliers who has expressed a certain level of optimism in his statements.

          On the other hand, if management thinks that there is a high probability of bankruptcy they are also better off spending what little liquidity there is on legally prioritized creditors (government / taxes and employees). If they do end up in bankruptcy and money that could have been paid to prioritized creditors was instead paid to non-prioritized ones (suppliers), then that money can be claimed back by the bankruptcy court and if there is a shortfall management and board of directors can be personally liable for unpaid taxes (in a bankruptcy the government will step in and guarantee the salaries for a few months, and this also becomes a prioritized debt with personal liability for management and board).

          Whatever the current noise is, it is my conviction that this will eventually fail; although there are some strong technical skills in the company still the people on the “business” side of things (sales, strategy, finance) do not install any confidence.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          “We cannot pay the bills, but we are not broke!”

          Said every poor person ever.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Will this Saab story ever end?

    • 0 avatar
      sparc

      It’s pretty bad when an auto company can’t pay a $22k debt. You have to wonder how many other creditors are getting the same empty promises.

      The long and painful death of Saab….

    • 0 avatar
      Kalle

      One can wonder?
      It didn’t end in the beginning!

      My father worked as a test driver when the car was developed.
      On a free day some guys in the team decided to go fishing cod at the nearby ocean coast. Locals warned them for dangerous waves that day.
      Fortunately for my father he had caught a Cold and had do stay at home. Five guys Went fishing and all five got swept away by Waves and drowned. But the car came into being. This was some time in the years 1946-1951 when my father worked at SAAB.

      Now with the chinese I Think the car still has potential. That’s because the first time I took Place in a 9:3, the first brand new car my father ever bought ( but never came to drive becasuse of a stroke ), I got the feel of SAAB’s of my childhood. This feeling was awoken by the alsmost vertical front window. With this in my mind and the lightness of the whole structure of the model I came to belive that this car had potential to be liked by many chinese people. This was june 1999.

      If that hunch was true – well who knows how many lives there is left in this brand.

      Still driving my 1999 9:3.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      People/companies with more money than they know what to do with have made far worse decisions than trying to resurrect an automotive marque with a storied history and distinctive personality that even decades of GM ownership couldn’t fully extinguish.

      I think Saab will remain around for some time yet.

  • avatar

    Even without producing a single car, SAAB continues its grand tradition of being a perpetual money pit for whoever owns them.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Considering that everyone else in the industry decide that SAAB’s position in the market was untenable and that its brand was not worth saving, I just don’t get why those outside the industry think it is worth saving.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s right. If GM/Ford/JLR, whoever else and their VAST teams of lawyers and accountants and analysts cannot make a case for a brand, why would some little company think they could turn things around with less analysis and less money?

      If there were more dimes to squeeze from Saab, GM would be doing it right now.

  • avatar

    Weekend at Bernie’s of the Auto Industry

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    When I had a 2011 Saab 9-5 FWD sedan come in a couple of months ago a wholesaler offered me $7,000 for the car. It had 45,000 kilometers / 30,000 miles.

    Yikes.

  • avatar
    James2

    I wish someone would put a bullet into this story. Die Saab die!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The other day I saw one of the later, revamped 9000s, with proper aero wheels, in black over tan.

    I want one EVERY TIME that happens. I think that’s one of the best designs of any car between 1980 and 1999.

  • avatar

    Volvo and Saab – tales of two Swedish almost equal siblings having turned a different corner. Whatever you wanna say about the two, Ford left Volvo in a much better shape than GM did with Saab, when the two were sold off. Volvo has laid down the basis for continuous growth and appreciation. Saab never succeeded in finding the proper funding. And that says something; the Chinese love foreign brands.

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