Jan-Ake Jonsson on Saab’s reconstruction

This is a multi-faceted story that Daniel posted a translation of in comments. It’s well and truly worth a posting here on the front page.
The dot points from the story:

  • Saab have eight very interested parties they’re talking to at the moment
  • Reconstruction is due for completion in three months, but can extend out as far as 12 months
  • There’ll be another facelift to the Saab 9-3 prior to a new one coming, which they’re working on already

There’s some Swenglish in there thanks to the wonders of the internet, but I think you’ll get the gist of things.
SAUTOSJÄRVI. The sun sparkles in the snow on the lake two mil outside Kiruna. It is a trial run of the new Saab 9-3X, which is scheduled to come in the autumn. CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson, who joined Saab as 22-year-old in 1973 is here. He’s still full of energy despite nearly inhuman pressure the last week.
– I will be quite happy at the end of all this, when I can put my head on the pillow and get hours of sleep per night. It is an incredibly stressful situation, I would be lying if I said otherwise, “he says.
For the kind of things happening in nature – on all fronts. The company is reconstructed, a new owner is found, the development of new models and continue discussions, discussion with the government.
– “I have 4000 employees to keep calm and 1100 dealers who wish to have continued confidence in the brand. ”
Disruption in the daily production.
During yesterday afternoon came information that the Swedish Customs stopped the importation of material to Saab Automobile because customs duty had not been not paid. And that production in Trollhättan be temporarily stopped as a result.
– Customs must change the rules in a reorganization. We have to pay directly at the border. It just happened.
Can duty be paid?
– “Yes, absolutely, absolutely, “he says emphatically.
It also circulated information yesterday that other suppliers stopped deliveries.
– “There are suppliers who threatened it, but none stopped the deliveries.”
The number one priority is to find new owners. He is puzzled before the rumors that sister brand Opel would be entering as buyers.
– “We must have an owner who is financially strong.”

The fire crackles in the round tent in the middle of the ice. The wind takes in and blows and Jan-Åke Jonsson sitting on a renfäll.
– We have many carpetbaggers who made their offers” he says and smiles quickly.
But then says that they have had seven to eight serious inquiries – such as reading the newspaper and heard from them. In addition, work is the high pressure to produce a material that presents the company. Saab will make use of large bank Deutsche Bank to find buyers.
The restoration period is three months, and Saab has the liquidity and funding from GM.
– “As we approach the end of these three months the future has to be decided, again, and then GM must ensure that we have the money, “he says.
He says he hopes that they have found a new buyer in this first three-month period. Do you think GM would put up money if you have not resolved after three months?
– “Yes, absolutely, if we would not have time to solve it. We have a strong business plan and the high cost of bankruptcy would also end up with GM. We can extend the recovery period, up to a year.
According to Jan-Åke Jonsson’s business plan will be Saab to make a profit already in 2011.
But the government has been lukewarm to the business plan. Maud Olofsson has publicly seen it as overly optimistic – especially in terms of sales forecasts in the coming years.
– “We met last week and even when we adjust down the sales forecast from 10 to 15 percent, so are we funding anyway.”
He is noticeably irritated over the government’s skepticism. Now, they meet again at the end of the week.
– “Hopefully we will be able to close the question and I have high hopes for.”
The business plan includes the new models. At year end, new 9-5, and then 2010 midsize SUV 9-4X and then an updated 9-3 (for the second time) next year. Then the idea is that a brand new 9-3 will be presented. And that is what will be Saab’s new volume car.
– “We are doing design work on it right now.”
Are you still optimistic about a solution?
– “I have every confidence that we will find a new strong capital owners.”
Is there such today?
– “Yes, both inside and outside the automotive industry.”

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