An Independence Story – the Receivers’ Work

The work of the receivers at Saab – one of the issues where the opinions differ quite a bit. Some think it was a desaster, others feel they did a pretty good job. While a final judgement on them may, if ever, only be possible when their final report is published I feel the truth is somewhere in between. Still, there are stories that make you wonder. One of those stories came to light through the latest auction in Sweden.

Back in 2011, at the independence celebrations in Trollhättan, the production of the independence edition convertible was announced. Only a bit later the German Saab dealer Auto Stephan ordered one of those for a customer. BioPower, black roof, Satnav, truly a beautiful Saab.

BUt as we all know things went not as planned and production, stopped, started, then stopped again. That particular convertible was sitting on the production line with some major parts still missing. Quite some time later, in November or December 2011 the dealer got a call from Sweden. He was told that the car could be completed if a beige roof was acceptable for the customer. They agreed as the future of Saab was already pretty unclear back then.

Even greater was the joy when the papers for that car, issued on the 6th of December 2011, arrived at the dealer. Dealer and customer were happy as the limited edition became even rarer through the idled production. A few days later the dispatcher at Saab confirms that the car was loaded on a truck destined for Germany.

But, as things were back then, the truck remains in Sweden because of unpaid bills. This does not change until the 19th of December, when Victor files for bankrupcy at Vänersborg court. We see the press conference, the final market call and SWAN is history.

Meanwhile the convertible still sits on the truck, the papers are at Saab Stephan and Santa comes to town…

Then the receivers enter the scene. They take over Saab and order the truck to be unloaded. Our convertible is back in the delivery area at Saab. And there it will stay.

So far this is all ok, as according to law the filing for bankrupcy voids all contracts. But still, there is a car and a customer who wants it. And a dealer that still wants to get that car to Germany. The team of Saab Germany, by then already Saab Parts Germany, would like to help but can’t. It’s all in the power of the receivers. And they are obviously not interested, don’t answer to any attempt of Saab Stephan to contact them.

So the convertible stood on the lot at the factory. Winter, spring, summer, fall…

And then, all of the sudden exactly that car showed up in the recent auction by KVD, being one of two independence edition covertibles there. Again our brave dealer tried to get hold of the car through different channels. Without success.

To say it again, it’s all correct from a legal point of view. But…

…the way the lawyers acted here, in simply not replying to inquiries does not fit in their own claim to handle the situation in the best possible way. The price for that car in the recent auction is still lower than what Saab Stephan had paid for the car a year ago. We can surely imagine how frustrating it was for the dealer and his customer to be that close to a collectors’ car and then loose the fight in that way.

That story raises the question why the receivers acted that way. This will not be the only car that was ready for delivery and then went back into Saab’s lot despite there were customers waiting for it. Many time it was heared that the receivers needed money to finance the process. Trying to sell those cars to the people that had originally ordered them would for sure have been a clever way.

But even more it makes me wonder if this is the only issue where the receivers lacked cleverness. Time will tell.

Thanks to Tom of saabblog.net for sharing the story.

xelav
Member
3 years 9 months ago

She really is a beauty , but what a sad story.

Red J
Member
3 years 9 months ago
It is a sad story, and the receivers may or may not have acted in the most intelligent way, but I think the SAAB guy that was in contact with the dealer in Germany should have reacted more pro-active as the whole was starting to fall apart. Let me put an example. I used to drive a Ducati motorbike. I bought my Motorbike to the dealer for the inspection, everything looked normal on that morning, but in the evening they called me to pick up my bike asap, as the Ducati dealership went bankrupt and on the next morning the… Read more »
900SE
Member
3 years 9 months ago

The receivers have no real interest in doing any good deeds, or even their job, for that matter. They pocketed the “kindness” awarded by NEVS and washed their hands. Another great example of why lawyers at their best (sarcasm)

Baracuda
Member
3 years 9 months ago

We also tried to contact them (receivers) a lot of times because we had a buyer who wanted to buy the rest of the cars that were completed standing around. But they don’t wanted to get in touch with us. It took them nearly 11 months to send me an email, that they wanna auction the cars one by one for a better price. And when i now see where the reserve prices are i am really sure our offer was way better than what is to expect from the auction!!!

scand
Member
3 years 9 months ago
Till, saabs bankrupcy was so massive, the value of that car represented about 0.0000275 percent of the value of debts, truly a drop in the bucket. however, the car still has value now, ..oddly.maybe even more value, so from a simple cash-in basis, it’s likely to be almost a wash, at the end of the day, from the receivers standpoint. The reason receivers largely cancel all in process sales immediately at a bankruptcy is that when a company knows its going off the cliff, the temptation to do insider deals cheap, is huge. ( not saying that happened at Saab)… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago
No Scand, if I’m reading it correctly, the car is NOT worth more now: “The price for that car in the recent auction is still lower than what Saab Stephan had paid for the car a year ago. ” This sort of thing reminds me of big government. Common sense goes out the window and there is a big, clumsy process that government morons follow. Actually, “follow” is the wrong word—-more like “participate in.” There is no independent thought to improve things—-just blind burocrats stampeding along. You hear about things like this all the time. Someone will ask a simple… Read more »
rune
Member
3 years 9 months ago

The auction does not end until Friday/Saturday.

Whatever price there is now might skyrocket by then. …or not.

That said, it was interesting to learn the background of that convertible. When I first spotted it at the auction the top had me really confused.

hans h
Member
3 years 9 months ago

It makes me sad. Or Saad, as you might spell it.
Couldn’t he claim the car now?

KoGa
Member
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t want to find excuses for the Receivers but they surely receive hundreds if not thousands of emails from all over the place about the smallest things and it’s simply not possible to answer each request one by one. Even if it’s a valid request. Also dealing with one individual car is expensive and time consuming, they have to consider this too when selling the assets.

But what’s stopping Saab Stephan to bid on the car now?

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago
KoGa: These Receivers were “on the case” for months. When you total up the amount of working hours, it’s staggering. Hundreds of e-mails to respond to? I get that in a week. And yes, I get thousands in a month, and many of them require action and research. It’s what I’m paid for. And I’m sure they had people working for them, to delegate to, that I don’t. I’d love an accounting of what they did for all that time. I wonder if there are “time sheets” that explain what they were doing at all times during this process?
scand
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Angelo, with all due respect, you are not grasping the scale of saabs bankruptcy. Not only was it probably Sweden’s largest bankruptcy, (certainly in recent times) but most companies of that size failing would have filed much earlier, and there probably would have been a more orderly receivership process.

As they (swan) left it way beyond the normal point of no return, it really left a huge mess to sort out, and arguably less chance of selling it as a realistic going concern.

The fate of one car, is, as I said above, a minuscule drop in the bucket.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

The fate of one car is a drop in the bucket, I’ll grant you that. The fate of the bankrupt carcass going to a concern no one ever heard of prior to the announcement—-it remains to be seen whether this means the Receivers were geniuses, fools or puppets.

3cyl
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Till, your “lacked cleverness” phrase is an interesting way of putting it. Have you considered a future in the diplomatic corps.

Kimberly
Member
3 years 9 months ago

I think in The united States this would be a felony. I mean, they have product, the customer had already paid for it, it was on a truck to be delivered, and then they retained it, and sold it to someone else? That is grand larceny, fraud, not to mention immoral on any grounds. I would take legal action against the receivers, press charges and file civil suits against the individuals responsible for making these decisions. Given the willful gross malfeasance involved here piercing any corporate veil or any sort of “immunity” ought to be child’s play.

scand
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Look up chapter 7 of the US bankruptcy code. You will find out how dead wrong you are on every point. Swedish law is pretty similar.

Thanks, and good luck!

scand
Member
3 years 9 months ago

The above comment was for Kimberly.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago
Scand: Why don’t you link us to something specific that addresses what she said? When I look at Chapter 7 of U.S. Bankruptcy law—–it’s volumes and volumes that doesn’t speak to seizing property that someone has paid for—-that is scheduled for delivery to that person. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just wondering exactly what verbiage you’re referring to. Further, unless the law compelled them to detain that vehicle—-they did something unethical/immoral even if not illegal. If they had a choice to allow the transaction to go through, they sinned in my opinion and exposed their ignorance. By the way, have… Read more »
rune
Member
3 years 9 months ago

whois information for “nevs.com”:
Updated Date: 24-feb-2012
Creation Date: 09-mar-2000
Expiration Date: 09-mar-2013

scand
Member
3 years 9 months ago
Firstly there is nothing in tills article that says the customer or the dealer actually had paid for the car. Ownership of the asset and payment terms along the delivery chain from factory, to importer, to dealer to customer varies from country to country, but in the US at least, the customers contract is with the dealer, so any deposit he placed would have been returned, assuming the dealer did not simultaneously go bust. At the moment the Swedish court accepted the bankruptcy petition, a whole new set of rules come into play, and it is irreversible: it is the… Read more »
Red J
Member
3 years 9 months ago
In fact, in Germany you never place a deposit for a car. So no money had changed hands whatsoever at that point. On the other side, SAAB in 2010 wanted the dealers to pay for the cars in front, even before the papers where send to the dealer. The Idea was that every car leaving production line should be more or less already paid for. I see this only as a method of creation of cash flow. But we all know that the situation of the dealers at that point was too weak to pay for the cars in front,… Read more »
hughw
Member
3 years 9 months ago

it’s actually http://www.national-ev.se

and it’s still a pretty disappointing website

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah. I can’t even read the language, but the graphics have me LMAO. Is this a joke? This looks like something a grade school kid would create for free—-using some online free tools. In fact, there are 10 year olds with enough computer saavy to make something far more impressive. I hope they have something ready to emerge soon—-that won’t be so pathetic/comical. This century, websites are the first place people go for information. Has anyone informed them of that?

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Oh, okay. Nothing says “English” but I did click on the tiny little circle with what appears to be a British flag in it. That got text I could read. Seems to be months between press releases.

North Toronto Punter
Member
3 years 9 months ago

And if you think that’s bad, try their contact domain: http://www.saabcars.com.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Is this a joke? I tried it at work, now I’ve been trying again at home. WTF?

RS
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Looks like the receivers themselves think they’ve done a wonderful job. http://ttela.se/ekonomi/saab/1.1871952-vill-ha-129-miljoner
They want roughly 20 million dollars for a years work. Why not cash in if you get a ‘ones in a lifetime opportunity’ like this, eh?

Red J
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, Swedish lawyers see Saab as their private cash cow. First Mr Lofalk now the receivers.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

It’s breathtaking isn’t it, and disgusting. It can truly leave one speechless, the nerve of those Receivers. Astonishing. Their chutzpah shouldn’t surprise us anymore I guess. Quid Pro Quo defined. What a scandal.

scand
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Top Bankruptcy lawyers in the states are billing $1000 an hour. The legal tab for the lehmans bankrupcy is currently up to $1.8 billion.

Its a very lucrative bizz.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Well, maybe they should be paid according to their performance. In that case, the Saab team would get a dozen hard boiled eggs, twenty dollars each and a slap in the face.

RS
Member
3 years 9 months ago

I was hoping that Sweden wouldn’t become too much like the States. 1% of the people having more money than all the rest combined is not a good scenario imho.

scand
Member
3 years 9 months ago

Totally agree with you.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t like the idea of people voting themselves the right to other peoples’ money. If 1% has more than 99% combined, and they accomplished that legally, more power to them. If the free markets reward people for their innovation and work—fine. I draw the line at governments becoming king makers and paying insane sums of money in their ongoing campaign to pick winners and losers. Who pays the bill for the Receivers?

RS
Member
3 years 9 months ago

More power to the high flying hedge people in the financial sector that are the big money nowadays is the problem. Those folks will be the demise of all of us. Only thing that makes it legal is that they write the bills themselves.
Honest hard working entrepreneurs, businessmen, doctors, scientists and so on doing well should not be mixed with the scumbags that create economic chaos for their own benefit with the friendly aid of most -sometimes clueless- politicians.
The Swiss accounts are running out of zero’s.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 9 months ago

RS: If the high flying bankers are breaking the law, they need to be in jail. Otherwise, I hope they spend their huge income on goods and services that keep the rest of us employed. I understand what you’re saying about not trusting big business—-especially big finance—-I get it and in many ways, agree. The only “big” I trust less is big government.

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