Vladimir Antonov questions Saab in DI.se

I wish I had an explanation for this one.

Financier Vladimir Antonov do not think that Saab Automobile will meet this year’s sales targets and the need for more capital to keep the company afloat. The capital he is willing to invest. The Dagens Industri on Thursday.

“Saab Automobile will sell a maximum of 60000-65000 cars this year in my personal opinion and is not capable of target 80 000 cars,”said Vladimir Antonov Di.

Let’s get one thing straight – Saab will always be fighting to maintain their place in the automotive world. It’s the nature of the industry. Every player, big or small, will be fighting, innovating for their lives. It’s just that the smaller ones will have to be smarter and quicker at it.

Any suggestion that Saab will struggle to sell their targeted 80,000 vehicles is an easy one to make. The ramifications when someone like Vladimir Antonov makes is a significant. The ramifications of him making that statement to the Swedish press – the majority of whom are a bunch of neurotic pussycats at the best of times – are huge for Saab in the public perception stakes.

And all this at a time when the Swedish press were starting to see the good work that Saab has done. The tone of the press has been a lot more accepting, almost positive, since Saab passed the one-year anniversary of December 18, the date GM gave them the death knell back in 2009.

Saab have made great inroads into the Swedish market since that time and the addition of the sub-120g/km Saab 9-3 SportCombi is set to send their sales higher yet again. Add the Saab 9-5 SportCombi later in the year and Swedes should have good reason to be interested in what Saab are doing (in a positive sense) because they are doing great things.

So I really can’t understand why VA would come out and say this to the Swedish press. It’s not going to do anything but cause uncertainty about the company and have a negative influence on the very goal that he’s talking about.

We’re not even through the first quarter of the year yet. This is a guy who I’d imagine has unlimited influence within Saab if he so chooses to exercise it. Why he’d need to air concerns publicly and cause potential damage to the company is beyond my understanding (unless, of course, it makes it cheaper for him to buy in later on, but then are you really doing your own future assets a favour by striking them down?)

Mr Antonov, I don’t have your email so I can’t ask you directly. But Why?

Ante
Guest
Ante
5 years 6 months ago

He’s putting pressure on EIB and God knows who to let him in… I guess!

Ante
Guest
Ante
5 years 6 months ago

… and the damage isn’t that bad as he will instantly refinance the company! I hope!

turbokalle
Guest
turbokalle
5 years 6 months ago

My thought as well Ante.
I strongly doubt though that his words and wievpoints have any connections with the Saab management.
There must have been a less harmful way of doing this.
Mabye the damage is not that bad, but we do not need this at this time.
As Swade correctly mentions, the swedish press just turned their approach to Saab to a more positive one, and this might send the reporting to a negative spin again.

Robert P
Guest
Robert P
5 years 6 months ago

Weird article, sounds like speculation. Saab (Spyker) is a listed company and since Antonov is involved with Saab -he was on the podium with VM and JAJ at the Saabfestival- makes this look like he’s making an official statement. My shares will drop by these specultations, so can Mr Antonov please explain to me what his role is in the company, what his financial positions are in Spyker (listed) and how official this press release is?

matsvbg
Guest
matsvbg
5 years 6 months ago

If Saab doesn’t meet the sales targets he can buy a bigger part of Saab for a lower price and when it’s all done he’ll move the whole lot to Russia….

keeneyes
Guest
keeneyes
5 years 6 months ago

Simplest explanation: A PR-move to make the swedish public (plus selected authorities and members of the press) warm up to him as a future strong investor in SAAB. If the sales goals aren’t met (and there is – of cource some real risk of that happening), mr Antonov is aiming for a smoother transition in to the company – as the Saviour. Might seem a little bakwards, but rather plausible, I’d say.

mr_ebbot
Guest
mr_ebbot
5 years 6 months ago

I agree, It is politics.
Pressure on the EIB, GM and governments. Maybe also on the stock if he wants to buy in cheaper.

We will probably not know what the agenda is…

JL
Guest
JL
5 years 6 months ago
I haven´t read the actual article, but I do recall VM saying in a recent interview that this years TARGET is 80 000 cars (published on SU, I´m sure), but they will also get by by selling 60-65 000 cars. So there is nothing new here. We also know that SAAB is financially restricted and that the need for capital is more or less endless. The more access to capital, the quicker SAAB can come back. So there is nothing new here either. All in all this does not seem to be such a big deal. Great that Antonov wants… Read more »
JL
Guest
JL
5 years 6 months ago

OK, now I´ve read it and can agree that this was rather unnecessary. Not long ago he said that SAAB can be worth 16-17 billion SEK very soon. He may need a course in media training – he is not adding to his or SAAB´s credibility this way.

Carlo
Guest
Carlo
5 years 6 months ago

Possibly the price he will pay to buy the Spyker assets are linked to the share price thus he is trying to send the share price down … maybe he wants to but some shares on the cheap

or maybe he is just annoyed he feels “pushed out” of SAAB

SAAB_Andee
Guest
SAAB_Andee
5 years 6 months ago

@matsvbg.

Thats hysterical speculation. You can’t move a whole car company. If you want facilities you can buy the old gm plant in amsterdam and move it wherever you want. But you can’t move saab to russia. Thr brain and knowledge of saab is in trollhattan . You can’t move that

Red J
Member
5 years 6 months ago

Yes, you can.

WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 6 months ago
True, you can move SAAB to Russia but the business will fail. You can move SAAB to China but it will fail. You cannot move SAAB’s main HQ and assembly plant outside of Sweden and make a success of it. There will no longer be a connection to the Swedish name and heritage and the location of where they are built. The 9-4x is a different situation as SAAB still has a manufacturing plant in Trollhättan. OPEL is an American company is it not but the world recognises it as German, as the main plant is based in Rüsselsheim. Unless… Read more »
Red J
Member
5 years 6 months ago

WooDz, you are 100% right.
I also don’t think that a non-Swedish Saab could have a success story.

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 6 months ago

You are so rihgt! He probebly thought that his own mission (to buy Saab) was worth the damage he did to Saab. The message was to Swegov & EIB but he forgot or actually didn´t care about the consequence of bad publicity. This shows how false a rich guy can be. STUPID is a word that comes to mind.

“Well done for blowing it” is a very good comment. VA we have our eyes on you!

I bet VM is taking a serious talk to the man.

Niklas G
Guest
Niklas G
5 years 6 months ago

My guess is that he seriously thinks that 80 000 cars is a bit overoptimistic for this year and/or that he simply, as others already have suggested, wants to make absolutely clear that he still believes strongly in the company and that Saab automobiles needs his support.

And if he gets in then he has a ppretty good chance to say by the end of teh year that “well, compared to my expected 60-65000 cars target we did pretty good didn’t we? And 2012 we start selling the all new 9-3…”

Red J
Member
5 years 6 months ago

The Spyker shares have been falling since the first week in February, so this can’t be the reason.

VM keeps saying that his sales target is 80.000 because he has to. Spyker is a listed company, and so he can’t make such announcements in an interview. But the fact, that he said that Saab would be OK with only selling 60.000-65.000 cars, shows that Saab has already made a worst case scenario.

Lasse
Guest
Lasse
5 years 6 months ago
Thank you for putting this up on the front page, Steven. Since I read this news an hour ago, I have also been wondering about the motivation behind it. What popped up first on DI.se was a very short notice that Antonov questioned thes sales target, coupled with some speculation about the sustainability of Saabs business plan and the possibility of the EIB loan to be cancelled so that the Swedish government would be forced to step in. My first thought was that they had just taken one quote of Antonov out of context to again build up some speculation… Read more »
michaelb
Guest
michaelb
5 years 6 months ago

Whatever the motivations, an unguided missile. this is potentially very negative for Saab, as it might trigger another campaign leading to buyers reluctance. Irresponsible in a turnaround, that is on shaky grounds. As a responsible investor a no-go. VM and Saab should get rid of him or shut him up foreever with such type of behavior, with heavy fines. .

Belfast_saab
Guest
Belfast_saab
5 years 6 months ago
http://www.teknikensvarld.se/nyheter/110301-saab-antonov-gm/index.xml# GM approves Antonov that Saab owners Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov was previously not very popular, seen by GM eyes. Now, GM has however changed his mind and accept him as Saab owners. Now Victor Muller and do everything in his power to get the Antonov in Saab. Only one obstacle remains. SPONSORED LINKSFind the car of Eric Engineering & Sales of Toyota and beg. cars of all m. ..Read more …Buying a new car? Welcome to the Ford trade in Halmstad! Personal & commercial vehicles …Read more … Vladimir Antonov has stood out in the cold last year. GM… Read more »
JL
Guest
JL
5 years 6 months ago

So the idea is that the collateral is being undervalued by EIB – it´s worth 1 billion EUR and not 400 million, and 1 billion would be more than enough to secure SAAB´s future. It is quite obvious that VA has a great belief in SAAB.

StefanH STHLM
Guest
StefanH STHLM
5 years 6 months ago

Either this is
A – Just a slip of toungue and in that case VA ought to take a class in Media relations.

B – A statement anchored with Saab management = maybe a good one but makes me worried

C – A tactical move from the “free entreprenour” VA alone – I hope not, dont confirm my worst worries. I wish he´s not a so called “free entreprenour “, doin whatever he finds pleasing him.

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 6 months ago
In the midst of building customer confidence in Saab a statement/speculation like this is the absolute worst thing you can do to the company. It’s the second week of March for crying out load and VA’s talking about not meeting this years sales target? Second half of this year is (was) looking really good for Saab. Just as we where getting into the positive territory with the PhoeniX concept, MY11.5 and everything… %”@&% (sorry) Saab doesn’t need the Russian money if they just keep on doing their thing. Just look at the progress they’ve made in 12 months. It would… Read more »
JL
Guest
JL
5 years 6 months ago

Maybe this is exactly what VA thinks, that he needs to act now, while there still is some uncertainty!

StefanH STHLM
Guest
StefanH STHLM
5 years 6 months ago

This need some kind of statement from Saab management.

D – Something has happened between VM and VA causing VA to force his way to get his hands on Saab.

VA explain yourself! Please!

TimR
Guest
TimR
5 years 6 months ago
This is not over, DN is catching on to the story and making it worse: Google Translation: Antonov Warns: SAAB Bankrupt in 5 days Vladimir Antonov condemns Saab’s sales and do not think that Saab’s money stretch. Would the loan from the European Investment Bank terminated waiting bankruptcy within five days, he says. The Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, who recently bought the Spyker sportbilsdel, warned in an interview with Dagens Industri that equity issues are waiting Saab Automobile towards the end of the year. He does not think that Saab is capable of the promised target to sell 80 000… Read more »
Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 6 months ago

Oh, these journos.
Doing everything to make the headline look noticeable.
It’s like asking “What if the hudred lightnings strike the Saab factory in the same time?”, of course you’ll get the answer like “Oh, that’s gonna be bad, Saab will go bankrupt in 5 minutes!”, and then throw away the context, and here it is your headline: “The Speaker: Saab will go bankrupt in 5 minutes!”
Hate them. Very unprofessional. As always.

Peter, Sweden
Guest
Peter, Sweden
5 years 6 months ago

This is crazy. He said that “IF the European Investment Bank terminated its loan, THEN Saab WOULD go bankrupt within five days”, but DN is doing their own variant of the quote, and having it as a headline.

Sure, I can’t see the point of Antonov <3 Saab (and have never done), but what bothers me even more is the total lack of professionalism in the Swedish press, and bare in mind that even DN is one of the more respected and skilled papers out there…

Lasse
Guest
Lasse
5 years 6 months ago

Time for Saab to act. This has a juridical dimension. Saab should go to court and try to get compensation for the damage caused.

Hans H
Guest
Hans H
5 years 6 months ago

And so the Saab bashing has begun anew. >:-(

The comments on AMS are *very* anti-Saab at the moment. I can’t understand why people do that. They write about Saab, a company they say they are not interested in, confirming each other’s worst nightmares. Why?

And if I answer all I get back is hateful bashing. Not fun.

Please VA, make some sense out of this!

turbokalle
Guest
turbokalle
5 years 6 months ago

I just can`t belive it!
All you Swedes, go to dn.se and comment the article. Some (like me) have already and the comments towards DN are not kind. Go have a bite!

Lasse
Guest
Lasse
5 years 6 months ago

Done! Does anyone know whether it is possible to take steps against DN as an individual reader? Is there any state institution or self-regulated agency concerned with unethical behaviour of newspapers and online-newspapers?

Dave
Guest
Dave
5 years 6 months ago

Hum….Like some of you already posted, it seems to me that someone is willing get in at all cost, even if that means to temporarily cripple SAAB, wich I find unacceptable.
More advertisement is needed, I think. For example, the portuguese SAAB web site has still no information.

Rahpor
Guest
Rahpor
5 years 6 months ago

Unbelievable that Antonov has an interview with the Swedish press and agrees on the way it is presented to the reader. This kind of behaviour is a typical example why Mr Antonov is not been considered a reliable businesspartner. I can imagine this manupilation is not going to be helpfull for him at the EIB. This will certainly not help improving his reputation as possible reliable investor.

michaelb
Guest
michaelb
5 years 6 months ago

Don’t beat the press, it is the the interviewed that created the problem. Unbelievable, this is a trusted friend?

Lasse
Guest
Lasse
5 years 6 months ago

I disagree. To turn his answer in the interview that IF the EIB cancels the loan Saab WOULD be bankrupt in five days into the headline Saab bankrupt in five days – this is the lowest journalistic level you can reach.

Grumpy
Guest
Grumpy
5 years 6 months ago

It is obvious that Antonov had a plan when he met the journo, what he didn’t expect was to meet weasels worse than himself.

What DN has done today is unethical and extremely damaging to the Saab brand if it is allowed to fester, and for what?f a cool headline for a 50 word article?

No wonder journalists are the least trusted group in Sweden, this just adds to it.

Joe
Guest
Joe
5 years 6 months ago

Obviously a PR stunt to get in. A way to get people understand that he’s one of the good guys that can help SAAB succeed.

Peter, Sweden
Guest
Peter, Sweden
5 years 6 months ago

… and a way to get us understand that he’ll do just about anything for big bucks — even harm Saab…?

All PR is not good PR.

sales
Guest
sales
5 years 6 months ago

Well, Swade and Everyone else….

Let us face it… with the sales numbers for Jan and Feb… slow months or not…. SAAB is not going to reach anywhere near 80 000, no matter it picks up or not… and the 9-5 is realy not selling well.

Sorry, but this is just the way it is. I think we have to be realistic no matter how strong supporters we are of the brand.

Barbapappa
Guest
Barbapappa
5 years 6 months ago

Why are you even commenting on this when you clearly have no idea? Nobody will know the number of sold SAABs 2011 until the year is over. This is purely YOUR speculation and I certainly do not appreciate when YOU try to dictate what I (or we) should “face”. I am capable of making up my own views based on my own experiences, thank you very much.

Lasse
Guest
Lasse
5 years 6 months ago
I also see hard times for Saab to reach the sales target in 2011. My personal opinion is that they in terms of sales are behind their business plan about one year. This is no surprise given the prolonged sale process and the liquidation period in the beginning of last year. Given this, they might indeed end up at 60000-65000 cars instead of 80000 as Antonov said. This level is by no means unrealistic if you consider that 2010 was basically half a year and that there are new models adding to the sales. Victor Muller has indicated that they… Read more »
Henke
Guest
Henke
5 years 6 months ago

Go back to Russia!! We dont want your money!! Ahole!!

900SE
Guest
900SE
5 years 6 months ago

Don’t want to sound very dramatic, but my worst fear is becoming true. Always have been a little reluctant that VA wants to invest in Saab, and after past statements that he wants to build cheap Saabs in Russia, and now this…. It’s pretty clear that he wants to buy Saab for 2 pence and doesn’t give a damn about the company itself. He wants to make money !

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

I have to admit I feel the same fear.
At least my sympathy for the guy is decreasing a lot. Even businessmen should have some kind of idealism, integrity and loyalty.

Johan
Guest
Johan
5 years 6 months ago

I dont understand how we can sell cars when VA talks bad about SAAB!! Makes me cry knowing that VA is that stupid and talk to the press like that!! SAAB should act straight away but they probably stick there head in the sand as always!!!

Its impossible to belive in the brand when this keeps going on!!

sales
Guest
sales
5 years 6 months ago

@Henke, you probably forget that SAAB is already bought with Antinovs money ???

without him there would be no SAAB.

SpSaab
Guest
SpSaab
5 years 6 months ago
I don´t see anything to worry in VA worlds… BIt by bit, what I think these worldsr really mean: – I think he is true about SAAB not meeting 80K sales (the US market is not responding as it should and I doubt the rest of the world can compensate it this year). Anyway, not worrying, he is willing to invest in SAAB, so nothing catastrophic if 80k not meet. – VA and VM have always gone together, VA has apparently fund VM ideas oftenly. I think that the plan was to put VA into the ownership from the very… Read more »
goose
Guest
goose
5 years 6 months ago
Suppose that Saab also believes that the target of 80,000 is no longer realistic for this year. Saab’s management is clearly not (yet) in the position to confirm this officially. In this situation, it seems to me a good approach to let VA break this news so that the markets can absorb this news before it becomes official. Sooner or later we have to let this sh*t come over us anyway. The underlying problem that Saab needs more time to recover is the real problem. OTOH, I also recall VA’s message that Saab would open a fctory in Russia which… Read more »
Toby
Guest
Toby
5 years 6 months ago

I think he’s a realist but…that kind of thing should not be said to the media-it should be kept between him VM and JAJ. Buyers are rational (read fickle) and as soon as they get any whiff of uncertainty justified or not-it risks damage to the brand.

Saab are doing ok, it is what it is-it should not be talked up or down-that is purely the job of Saab Marketing.

Johan
Guest
Johan
5 years 6 months ago

Toby, You are right! For month know we have to start from scratch building it up what we tried to build for a year and VA destroyed in 5min!!! ******ad!!

WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 6 months ago
I know I’ve just described VA as an equivalent to Bob Lutz but there is no need to use fowl language toward the man. I feel my words above were also a bit unjust as I’m now getting the impression that here is a man who words have been so typically mis-quoted. If the press asked VA “If the new 9-3 isn’t a success what will happen to SAAB?” his answer would have to be “SAAB will go bankrupt” Ultimate headline. So I think we all need to stop having knee jerk reactions, step away from the keyboard and think… Read more »
Hans H
Guest
Hans H
5 years 6 months ago

+1

nickX
Guest
nickX
5 years 6 months ago

shares are already down by 11.5% today. maybe this is, what VA wanted to create.

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 6 months ago

-17%. Borderline stock manipulation. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wouldn’t be happy if Spyker shares were listen in New York.

baas900i
Guest
baas900i
5 years 6 months ago

Russian politics may be described as an acute case of “cat and mouse”. VA is a businessman and will be looking for a good [cheap] deal. I believe Saab is a decent investment option since GM departed. At the moment Saab need to build sales. Am at a loss as to why Saab concentrates sales focus on resession hit countries while ignoring booming economies. Feel SU ‘residents’ are concentrating on the negatives…..it builds anxiety, frustration ends up in conflict…..

gunteman
Guest
gunteman
5 years 6 months ago

No matter whose fault it was, this came at a really bad time. The Swedish press was finally warming up to Saab. But still, what Saab needs is not positive articles in DI and DN, but quite frankly a LOT more advertising. I haven’t seen a Saab TV commercial in several months here in Sweden.

Jelger
Guest
Jelger
5 years 6 months ago

“Antonov Warns: SAAB Bankrupt in 5 days”

And this headline goes all over the newswires now. Settles in people’s minds.

Well done VA, thank you.

vagabond
Guest
vagabond
5 years 6 months ago

Why? When in doubt follow the money. All the ‘powers that be’ have to do, to make a ton of money, is first to ‘short’ the stock. Then they make negative statements in the media. The stock then drops dramatically on the Exchange. It is now down 20% this morning. Voila! They’ve made a lot of money. That’s how the big boys operate.

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Not sympathetic, not ethic. If this is the case money is to important for the man and I will not find him trust-worthy and especially not for Saab, which is, and should continue to be, a brand with high ethic standards.

svizzera
Guest
svizzera
5 years 6 months ago

I’ve seen a small article in a russian internet magazine.
In brief – Antonov and Muller are discussing the possibility of selling Spyker Cars to Antonov.
This will allow VM to concentrate all the efforrts on SAAB, because both Spyker and SAAB are unprofitable at the moment and keeping both of them “in one basket” is quite expensive.

If it is true, Antonov wants just to lower the price of the Spyker Cars.

JL
Guest
JL
5 years 6 months ago

I think that this one will blow over really quickly, e g because there is too much of a positive content: The take home message is that Antonov is dying to invest in SAAB and to eliminate financial risk in SAAB. Also – in six days time from now it will be obvious to the whole world that SAAB did not “go bancrupt in 5 days”. If the press keeps being wrong about SAAB, in the end nobody will believe them. That five day limit invented by DN, might actually be beneficial to SAAB.

Lundin
Guest
Lundin
5 years 6 months ago

The english translation of the DN headline gets a bit wrong. It’s not meant to be bancrupt IN 5 days as in this would happen next week.

He give Saab 5 days IF the loan is being withdrawn.

TuuSaR
Guest
TuuSaR
5 years 6 months ago

I think Antonov is some sort of reaper-boogeyman in Sweden so DI likes very much to get VA+Saab stories out.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob
5 years 6 months ago

Remember Antonov said just a few days ago in DI that Saab will become a very profitable company in 2016-2017, with an estimated worth of around 1,5 – 2 bilion euro.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob
5 years 6 months ago

With a link now: link

Johan
Guest
Johan
5 years 6 months ago

Lundin, You are wrong! The translation is right! The headline says in 5 days! But if you read the article it say if the loan get withdrawn!

Lundin
Guest
Lundin
5 years 6 months ago

Well,then we simply read the line differently. I dont see how it translates to that saab are in bancrupt in 5 days (as on Wednesday next week).

if it was:

“Saab i konkurs om 5 dagar”

then yes.

“Saab i konkurs på 5 dagar ” is different ..at least to me.

Hans H
Guest
Hans H
5 years 6 months ago

Sydsvenskan have written a more positive text on the matter:

The headline reads “Antonov is prepared to contribute”

Hans H
Guest
Hans H
5 years 6 months ago
Lasse
Guest
Lasse
5 years 6 months ago
Johan
Guest
Johan
5 years 6 months ago

Lundin, Open the article and the headline is SAAB i konkurs om fem dagar!

Lundin
Guest
Lundin
5 years 6 months ago

Why dont you use the replay button.

Yeah you right if i open up the headline (which not has the “OM” statment) they actually print that headline (pobably a missprint from them).I think people are clever enough to understand that VA does not say that this will happen next week.

Ante
Guest
Ante
5 years 6 months ago
TT actually talked to Antonov himself. As some of us guessed it’s about pressure towards EIB. What Antonov talked about as a cushion to lean towards (50 bn EUROs) if sales don’t meet expectations was converted into Antonov butchering the business plan and bankruptcy etc in di.se. In DN (the supposed prime paper of Sweden but now proving themselves as good only for wrapping fish) it was converted into bankruptcy in five days. I ritually humiliated a DN today by using it to lit fire and I sure hope they feel it in their stinking unobjective nerves. I like Antonov… Read more »
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