Swedish Automobiles NV, popularly known as SAAB is in a critical condition, and therefore, they are in search of something that will save the company’s existence and reputation. In the month of April, the production of the Trollhatten lineup of SAAB was stopped due to a payment problem with the suppliers. In late May, the production was again started after cash was paid in advance by PangDa Automobile Company for a car order. Within a period of two weeks, it was again shut down. By the middle of June, the company was pressing the Chinese regulators for approving the sale of over 50% of the Swedish Automobiles to PangDa Automobiles and Zhejiang Youngman Automobile. This would provide SAAB with 245 million Euros, equivalent to $350 million, which is needed for short term financing.
During late June, it was announced by Swedish Automobile NV that an undisclosed Chinese dealership provided them with 13 million Euros for purchasing 582 vehicles. The order of cars presumably includes 9-3s as well as the new 9-4x and 9-5. Like the Edsels in 1960s, few 9-4x models of SAAB can be seen to be driven at the Tech Center of General Motors in Michigan. According to the recent exchange rates, the latest sales of the company in China average a wholesale price of about $31,890.
By this time, the whole of Swedish Automobile NV has resigned only with the exception of Victor Muller, the chairman and CEO of the company. Apart from waiting for approval of the purchase of over 50%, SAAB was awaiting the European Central Bank for approving Vladimir Antonov, a Russian investor to purchase the factory, as well as land of the company and then lease it back. After waiting for weeks for the Antonov deal SAAB did not get any result and then they finally announced that 50.1% of the company’s property unit that includes the factory and the real estate. It was sold to a real estate firm in Sweden for around $39.5 million.
After the arrangement of the undisclosed Chinese dealership, Swedish Automobile NV proposed to pay their more than 3000 workers. The company also planned to pay 10 percent to the suppliers. Under this deal they will make full payment to the suppliers by September along with an interest rate of 6 percent.
For the time being, the resilience of Victor Muller and the passion for automobiles are the only certainty for SAAB.
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