Some Swedes Can't Wait For Saab Going Down The Drain

Sweden’s Dagens Indudstri, the financial paper most hated by the Saab faithful, has dug up another interesting twist in Saab’s concentric circles around the drain: There is one party that is checking daily whether Saab has finally gone belly-up: The consortium of real estate developers that a month ago bought 50.1 percent of Saab’s land, factories and improvements for around $40 million.

This was considered about 30 percent below market. Nevertheless, a lot of people doubted the sanity of the consortium, which is backed by a large Swedish insurance agency. After all, the tenant is Saab, and with its current references, the company would have a hard time renting an apartment in downtown Stockholm. Dagens Industri just found out why the consortium is quite happy with its distressed tenant: If Saab can’t pay the rent, the consortium gets the whole shebang for no extra money.

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Scary Chinese Experiment Proves: Swedish Cars Can Make Money

Volvo, given up as beyond salvage by former owner Ford, was sold off to China’s Geely in the automotive equivalent of a yardsale at $1.8 billion. Saying no is always easier than saying yes (well, there are certain exceptions), so most augurs said: “This won’t work.” Asked why, they answered: “It was tried it before, and it failed.”

Wonders of wonders, it appears to be working: Volvo Cars reported an EBIT of 600 million kronor (about 93 million U.S. dollars) in the second quarter, 40 percent more than in the same period of the previous year, a statement from Volvo Cars says.

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Saab: Money Dispose-All, Made In Sweden

Saab is living off charitable donations and newly issued stock to allow its workers to live from paycheck to paycheck while doing nothing. Over at the Blog of Good Hope every little donation to the cause is praised as the Final Deliverance. According of a Blog of Good Hope post, representatives of the Chinese savior Pangda are in Trollhättan this weekend. One of the questions undoubtedly will be “how long, how much?” Or in the language of venture capitalists “how long until we run out of runway?”

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Saab Submitted To Chinese Water Torture

Saab’s white collar employees were getting blue in their faces from waiting for last month’s paycheck. Saab had to sell off slices of the company to pay workers who sit at home twiddling their thumbs. According to the always well informed Saabsunited (when it comes to good news), salaries were transferred today at 5pm. On to the next payday.

Meanwhile, things don’t look so good in China. In June, Saab signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chinese distributor Pangda Automobile and car manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman Lotus. This had been feted as the second coming of Christ over in Flagwavingland. Put your ear on the ground. Hear that sound? It’s the Chinese, dragging their feet.

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Saab Wants To Sell Shares To Meet Payroll. Union: "We Have Not Seen Any Money Yet"

Swedish Automobile NV, the artist formerly known as Spyker, and owner of struggling Swedish car maker Saab, said today it plans to issue new shares to raise cash in order to meet overdue payroll. Response of the union: “Show me the money.”

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Saab Won't Be Saved. Not Even By This Man

The dwindling and demoralized ranks of Saab flagwavers had a bad week. No cash in the kitty, bankruptcy looms, their savior Vladimir Antonov is rebuffed by the European Investment Bank, dirty laundry about funds seeping away to hot islands is being aired. Their hopes now cling to a sheet of paper. Today, Christer Gerlach wrote an op-ed piece in Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter in which he makes the case that Saab should not be written off just yet. He is asking the Swedish government for help . A translation is printed at Saabsunited.

Christer Gerlach is a famous autowriter. The 66 year old Swede became notorious in 1972 by crossing the Sahara in a Citroen 2CV. In 1988, he entered the Guinness Book of World records in a solo trip around the world – in a Toyota Corolla. If you want the impossible on four wheels, Gerlach is the man to call. I would not call him to restructure a moribund car company.

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Saab Soap, The Endgame: Antonov Wants War!

In the Saab soap, it looks like Vladimir Antonov does no longer want to be invited back. Swedish Aftonbladet reports that “Vladimir Antonov is pissed” (at least that’s Google’s translation for “Vladimir Antonov är förbannad”) and is looking into legal action against Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Finance Minister Anders Bork and Maud Olofsson, Minister for Enterprise and Energy.

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Saab: Antonov Considers EIB Lawsuit, While Questions Arise Over "Management Services" Money

SvD.se reports that would-be Saab rescuer Vladimir Antonov is considering legal action against the European Investment Bank and the Swedish Government, for keeping him out of an ownership stake at the failing Swedish automaker. Says Antonov

I have therefore decided to investigate the possibility of taking legal action, including but not limited to claims for damages, which may be of interest to various parties, including myself, the EIB, some officials at the EIB, the Swedish government and some government officials personally. By denying SWAN (Swedish Automobile) and Saab Automobile access to the funding that I offer, what these companies want and still desperately want, both the Bank and the Swedish government acted against all involved parties concerned, particularly against Saab and SWAN’s employees , suppliers, traders, lenders and shareholders

Antonov is reportedly investigating whether he can sue individual ministers of the Swedish government, while the ministers in question angrily deny that they are working against the interests of the Swedish auto industry. Meanwhile, far from calling for the overthrow of the government, the Swedish press is investigating Saab’s outlays for “management services” in recent years, and has found that CEO Victor Muller may be siphoning cash off to the tax haven of Curacao.

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Trollhttan Official Calls On Saab CEO To Step Down
SvD.se reports that Paul Akerlund, Saab’s former IF Metall (one of Sweden’s largest trade unions) representative and now Trollhättan Munici…
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EIB Says No To Antonov. Suppliers Say No Scrooge McDuck Will Save Saab

Now that it has been first leaked then confirmed that the European Investment Bank EIB will not let Russian financier Vladimir Antonov get close to Saab, Antonov says he had known that all along.

Antonov’s spokesman Lars Carlstrom told Reuters that his boss “has known for a few weeks that the EIB would not let him invest in the iconic Swedish car firm,” Reuters reports. That revelation should come as another blow to Saab’s crumbling bastion of enthusiasm, Saabsunited, which had reported just yesterday that “Antonov is trying to save the situation.”

With the troops left dazed and demoralized, the generals practice the ancient art of finger pointing.

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Saab's Last Gasp

Checking in on Saab, which becomes as cheerful as visiting a relative in a hospice, we hear that Saab can’t make payroll again. Says The Local: “Saab informed white-collar staff on Tuesday that they would not receive their salaries on time this month. According to a report in the Dagens Industri (DI) business daily, the money will be delayed due to the non-payment of a installment from Bahamas-registered fund Gemini.” The natives are getting restless: A local politician demands Victor Muller’s head.

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Supplier President: Saab's Days Are Numbered"

Last week, a small Swedish parts supplier by the name of SwePart did not want to wait any longer and asked a Swedish court to declare a key Saab subsidiary, Saab Automobile Tools, bankrupt. Bankruptcy of the subsidiary would have meant the end for Saab as well. Hectic activity ensued. On Friday afternoon, there was an announcement that the matter had been settled and the bankruptcy petition was withdrawn. Expect a run on the bankruptcy court in the coming days and weeks.

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Saab Story: The Board Bails

Victor Muller will no longer have a problem reaching a quorum or a unanimous decision at Saab board meetings. Muller is the sole remaining director. The rest of the board bailed.

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Saab Saga, Reality Disconnect Edition

Hello? Hello? Part one:

It is 7:00 am on a Friday morning in Shanghai, where an obviously insomnia-suffering Carmen Lee posted the following two hours ago (says Google) at Gasgoo. Gasgoo’s reporting quality had slacked a bit recently, but here is hoping they still can translate alright:

“Pang Qinghua, CEO of the Pangda Automobile Trade Corporation, the company hailed as Saab’s savior, had a short interview with the Beijing Times where he answered questions regarding Pangda’s proposed partnership:

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The End Is Near: Saab Can't Meet Payroll

And this is how it usually ends. Saab spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs said “it is regrettable to have to notify staff of the day before midsummer,” that Saab is unable to pay this months wages to its employees. What’s more, Saab has no idea if and when it will send out paychecks again. “It is impossible to make any sort of forecast, except to repeat that the company is trying to solve this as quickly as possible,” said Gustavs to the wire-service TT [via TheLocal].

Saab employees were told via email this Thursday morning that no money will hit their accounts by month’s end.

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