The rubber meets the road at

Like me, many of you have signed up to support the Rescue Saab campaign being run by the guys at Mobilforum, in Dresden.

So like me, you should have received an email in the last few days asking how much you’d be wiling to commit to this cause. So what was your answer?

For mine, I’ll take you back to the original entry I wrote about Rescue Saab, last month.

Whilst I’m happy to spread the word about this endeavour, please do not take this publicity as an endorsement or an indication of my intention to participate. I have informed mobilforum Dresden of this.

If Saab eventually get to a point where they want to raise capital via a share sale, then I’ll be on board with no hesitation.

I did eventually sign up at Rescue Saab as a statement of support for the idea. And whilst I’d be willing to buy shares in a newly floated Saab Automobile, my response to the question of how much I’ll contribute to the Rescue Saab effort will be zero, and there’s a couple of reasons for this.

First, we are looking at a bucketload of money here. Not to purchase Saab. That might require just a token Swedish Crown to take over the liabilities of the company. But we’re looking at a small fortune in cashflow to operate the company, pay the employees, pay for parts and tooling for the coming models.

I believe that the amount required for operational cashflow would be more than a campaign like this could raise. Remember, GM recently transferred 1.3billion SEK to Saab’s court-appointed administrator. We’re talking about a lot of cash, here.

Second, I believe that if this carries further, then Mobilforum could be up for a reasonable amount in costs. I’m not sure how the donations system works, but I believe they’re intending on using PayPal to collect people’s contributions and then hold them in trust until ready for use.

This gives me pause.

PayPal charge a fee on each donation made. Should the funds not be required as a corporate buyer is found for Saab, then who’s going to cover the Paypal fees? If I donate $1,000 and PayPal take $50 in fees then do I get my full $1,000 back if this is unsuccessful, or am I agreeing to receive $900 back – a $50 fee deducted when I contribute plus another fee deducted when my money is refunded?

Those amounts are estimated, by the way, but the principle remains.

If Mobilforum are committed to actually raising cash in this effort, then this is one question about the operation that they’ll need to answer. With more than 13,000 people signed up, that’s a lot of fees to cover, unless everyone agrees to cover the fees on their own donations.

With the complexity of cashflow and operational matters, combined with this fee issue, I can’t help but stick to my original line of being happy to buy shares in a newly floated Saab Automobile, should they try to raise capital this way.

I’m happy to be part of a supportive group for Saab and I know that we all want to do whatever we can to see that they survive, but I wonder about the technicalities and whether their importance is being lost in the moment.

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