Fat lady has not sung yet

A guy familiar to most readers of SU just popped in and left the following comment:

(…)What I can say from on the ground here in THN is that everyone who can right now is working their ass off.

This whole situation feels somewhat reminiscent of the sale process and I’ll say again what I said then – there’s too much good stuff going on here and too many interested parties for this to not work out.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Here in Mariestad (one hour and fifteen minutes drive from Trollhättan — or two hours if you drive an Ovlov) the clock will strike midnight in half an hour, so I thought it proper to end the day on a positive note.

Best wishes to everyone in Trollhättan! (and Maud, if you are reading this: Just let Antonov in as an investor already! The guy has been waiting for over a year and you’ve had all the time in the world to figure out his intentions and background. Thank you.)

55 thoughts on “Fat lady has not sung yet”

  1. What can one do? I don’t work at Saab. I don’t have any personal economic reason for the company to stay alive. Meaning I don’t work at any subcontractor or dealership. I don’t own stock in Spyker. I don’t know anyone in Trollhättan. Still the current situation with Saab is everything I think of. What is it with this brand and its cars? Why am I willing to pay a year’s salary for a 9-5 instead of getting an A6 as a company car? Why do I keep my garage as a garage just for my 900 turbo – building another building next to the garage for all other stuff that normal people keep in there, like garden equipment etc? How can one be in love with a car brand?

    Saab – stay alive. Please.

  2. Ohh! This is good news from inside. We’ve been through a lot but come out on our feet anyhow. Feeel confident there’s a solution..:)

  3. @ SU crew….. you guys are doing very well though it all…. My comment to Swade letting him know the natives are restless meant no disrespect to the gang.

    We’re all in this together.
    Sometimes emotions get in the way. Last night I paced back and forth my garage pressing F5 and glaring at my Saab Flag on the wall…… damn near teary eyed till 0100 when i finally gave up and went to bed.

  4. Just watching and reading from the sidelines. Saab people are not quitters. Ask me how I know. Every stone will be unturned and if there is a way to find “can” it will be found.

    Although a Save Saab campaign can not help this situation like the last one, don;’ even think for an instant VM and his group enjoyed a Easter supper. I know from experience a lot of emotions and serious think tanking is occurring as we speculate the outcome. Aside from the brand Saab, its employees and suppliers, the exclusive dealers and VM stand to loose the most both in financial and face value.

    We should unarchive some of the posts from the GM transfer. We know who is on our side and who is not. We merely need the balance to be greater on the Saab side. All of the agencies involved have motives and peers to report to.

    CJ’s post in the other string explains the inside of the requests. No bank today is acting as frevilous as they did before the the great financial explosion a few yesr ago. Many like me have experienced this first hand in finding loans to restart the dealerships. You needed little to get a loan before, now you need to offer your next of kin inasmuch as your backround better be squeaky clean. The banks involved are scared to death as well. no one wants this to fail because to many people could have mud on their face.

    Swade himself is in an interesting position. Now as an insider he cannot do nor offer what he did before here on SU. I think this is a tough one for him to as he can merely sit and read the posts and comments. I think his one comment shows the paridox he is now living in. I for one was glad to see the comment from him. Silence is poision. It allows the mind to wander and generally the wrong way.

    I’ll leave you with this positive note: The week before last when this started to get under way I sent an email to Victor. I told him to keep his head up and push forward. I wrote “if anyone can find the solution, you and your team will” and to no surprise he wrote back the same day. His reply stated something to the effect that “we will not stop untill a solution is found” “thank you for the encouragement and kind words, in means a lot during these times”

    Do not help make this a self fulfilling prophocy. Write for the reasons to save Saab. Write to support the Saab Team. Write to the suppliers and to the employees. Buy cars, support your dealer and continue to spread good amist the bad about Saab. When they san “can’t” you say “can”.

    SU members can be heard. Just like Horton hears a Who. And so if we must we shall scream in unison at the top of our lungs Saab is worth Saving. Find the email addresses to the parties that matter and fill the inboxes with reason to support Saab. Send a positive message to the factory workers. Lets beat our drum. The Saabs United drum.

    Happy Holiday all.

    Darryl
    New Salem Saab

    • Darryl,
      Thank you for your post. I have seen your emotion go up and down in the last month and I was worried about you. It is very good to see you fight and determination again. You have been through a huge storm, literally and figuratively and you continue to fight. Saab is not a brand for quitters and we all have to remember that and fight on. Thanks again Darryl.

  5. +1
    Darryl, Just thinking that if it doesn’t work out than you have a great future as a speech writer. That was a great post.

  6. I drive my two Saab 900 -88 every day. I hope I can buy a new Saab someday, when I got the money. All support to Saab and Trollhttan from me!

  7. My colleague picked his new 9-3 last Friday (and loves it), and I will probably have a new 9-5 Aero in my garage tomorrow night, if the trade in of my current car is not too bad. So hopefully +2 for April. ;-).

  8. Hello friends. For your viewing pleasure I have a photo of the Spyker C8 convertible at this year’s Shanghai auto show! Taken by my friend there. Enjoy 🙂

    • And needless to say, if SU wants the photo for a China story, it’s yours 😉 Glad to hear about all the orders for new Saabs here in these threads.

  9. Here is a off the wall idea. As we have so many die- in -the-wool Saab lovers here. So many of them seem to be well educated, and some what well off. How about an old style Limited stock company, AKA a joint stock company? This is where interested parties buy into a company , and not just as stock owners, but as direct owners. At least that is how I understand it. It has been around since dirt. First used in Sweden about 800 years ago. Saab owners, perhaps via, a broker, or international Saab clubs, set up to purchase say, 1/5 of the company, say for $ 45,000,000 US ,in round numbers. That would take 15,000 owners, at about $ 3000 per owner. If there are 15,000 Saab, do or die, folks out there who world who would not mind investing in their favorite car company, to save it, I think such a scheme could be done,assuming legal or government roadblocks could be handled. This could also be done by a special stock offering. Either way, count me in. But I think it would take way to long to set up.

    • The problem is that while many might say they are diehard Saab fans, I’ve seen far too many negative comments about Saab, even here, on SU…Do you think that people who did not want to buy a car (sometimes for stupid reasons, like the look of the plastic inside), would risk money their money to become stock owners?! We’re talking about people waiting for Saab to fail, just to be able to buy a car for less money…sometimes I wonder why they even bother coming here.

      And of course, there are others who would join in, but maybe they can’t.

      I think your idea is great, and I wouldn’t hesitate at all. But given the lack of real support (like in buying cars), I doubt this would ever work. It’s good to see some people still care about Saab though.

      • You know, it would be far easier to buy stock in Saab, but I failed to find their symbol, or which exchange they are on. I did find Saab aero defence, their stock has done very well over the last 12 months. I’m calling my broker tomorrow to see if he can help, and yes, I will buy stock if I can find it. In the meantime if someone could supply Saab’s symbol, it would be a great help.
        Chris

    • Another point, that is synonymous with frequenting an anonymous internet platform: people tend to exaggerate their wealth, income, education and station in life when no-one can really check if what they say is really true. I fear that many who tell us here that they have bought or ordered a new Saab or would buy one ‘if only….’ haven’t done or cannot do so in real life.

      I apologize to those who don’t adapt the truth here. Those, of course, exist as well.

      Ivo

  10. Well, if they can manage to get the Fisker Karma out of a factory, I can’t understand why Saab would ever disappear.

  11. @Peter Hansel, is that really so difficult? Ever tried a thing called Google or Wikipedia?

    The ticker is SPYKR.AS and they are listed on the AScX part of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

    This can also be found in

  12. This information can also be found in (almost) every Reuters/Bloomberg article about Saab/Spyker and it also mentioned in every press release from Spyker.

  13. I think unfortantly it’s over. 🙁 Even if they get the money late next week it has gone to far to get the regular buyers back! I wouldn’t buy a new SAAB today since I am to scared of losing alot of money and not having spare parts to the new 9-5 and I think almost every Swede is thinking the same way. SAAB will probably end in China but not being produced in Trolhättan. China will probably move everything there and produce low cost/low quality SAAB cars. The factory will probably be bought buy Volvo and produce Volvo cars. 🙁 Sad thought but pobably true!

    • The spare parts business will surely conitnue to build spare parts for many years to come, it’s the PROFITABLE bit, because it incurs relatively little fixed costs, and has much higher margins than the new car business. Rest assured you will get your parts, there are parts available to much more obscure vehicles made decades ago.

      Really, if this is the sentiment among the Swedish customers and the public, there is a lot of work to be done by Saab’s PR and the government should chip in as well – for now, they are still risking taxpayers money, plus there is the future of a few thousand households at stake.

      • You are both right and wrong about the spare parts! Since most spare parts come from Sub-Contractors and they will run in to trouble when SAAB go away it will be hard to get some parts, Specially for the new 9-5.

        • Not at all. Spare parts is a great business for everybody. Even if a subcontractor decides to pull the plug, another will step in with the spare parts. You can get spare parts for the old 900 Classic now, oftentimes made by many competing suppliers, more than made them originally.

          MG Rover folded over 5 years ago, and there are still no major part shortages, even for older models.

        • To pick one part at random:
          The little plastic cover that covers up my tow hook in the back of my MY11 9-5 is GM part number 12776801 (or possibly 904200002). I do not expect GM to fold any time soon.

          I think we will be OK. There is, as Bravada points out, money to be made from producing parts. Little or no R&D required. Very predictable business.

          Swedish journalists should do some research rather than spread FUD the way they have done so far.

    • I am not so sure you are right.
      If you are, then Saab will just have to make sure that all of those worries are put at rest when the production starts again.
      There is no doubt that when Saab starts again they will have some serious PR to do, and will have to provide a solid back-up of the products on all levels.
      But knowing the general public I also think that just 1 year of troublefree production will be enough for people to forget all about the current problems.
      There is a reason that the sales fugures for Q1 2011 was at about 10K cars.
      We at SU didn’t buy those cars, and the press did not keep people from buying those cars.

      • If you are, then Saab will just have to make sure that all of those worries are put at rest when the production starts again.

        A statement ála: “Do not worry if we disappear next month, there are parts in stock that will keep you rolling for many, many years” you mean?

        I am not sure how effective that will be for someone already distrusting the availability of parts (btw: in some countries mandated by law). If anything, it will only call more attention to the trust-issue in the first place.

        IMO this sort of question would be the perfect story for an independent journalist to dig into. Unfortunately it is much quicker and effective to simply spread FUD.

        • Nah..More like: We wil not go away, our products are great and you should buy them because we will back them up in all possible ways. 🙂

  14. The sheer number of Chicken Littles predicting the sky is falling down is simply amazing to me. Folks – remain calm. Nobody here – including me – has a handle of what is going on behind the scenes, but I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Muller and his team are working around the clock to resolve issues and there is way too much to lose in terms of investments, product development, partnerships and existing vehicles for Saab to be permitted to fail. Look how far Saab has come. Please have a little faith.

    • You are right!
      I think it is a bit sad that the media picture of things seems get to the SU readers. Shake it of,think different, keep calm but what ever happends, carry on!

      This will be looked at as a blip in the future, even if it looks scary right now. To give in isn’t the best support.

  15. Saab is a bit like a cat with nine lives. It’s used some up over the years. It probably used up a couple in late 2009/early 2010, but I still somehow think it has a few lives left. It felt bad with the whole GM sale thing, but I always felt deep down that Saab would survive. Whilst this current crisis is very bad, it doesn’t feel nearly as uncomfortable as the the whole GM sale thing. Whatever happens Saab still has a rather bumpy road ahead of it for a while. Until it can get the NG9-3 (or whatever it happens to be named) into the show rooms, it’s road back to profitability will be slow. But hang in there folks. All is not yet lost. There are brighter days ahead. I’m sure of it.

    • Hear hear! Loved the Chicken Little analogy though…

      I just don’t understand the eagerness of some people, here in comments but also on the various forums, to declare the end and join the mourners. I wonder if they would do the same if a loved one was undergoing a life saving surgery, and they were outside the OR waiting for news. Would they also give up hope and declare him dead every time a surgeon or nurse would come out of the room? It seems a bit disrespectful, both for the patient fighting to recover, and for the doctors doing their utmost to save him. As long as there’s a heartbeat left there’s hope of recovery, as is the case with SAAB. And there are many hearts beating in trollhattan, i’m sure of it…

      • Funny you should mention how to treat loved ones, because I watched “Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!”‘s show on old people last night.

        They claimed that in Serbia, it is customary for the family to beat their old relatives to death when those old people had become a financial burden on the family. They would even invite the rest of the village to watch (and even join in).

        Serbia… Sweden… Both are names of countries starting with the letter ‘S’.

        😛

        Seriously, yes it is much too early to give up now. But we should recognise that the situation is serious and we should encourage the Swedish people to ask their government why Antonov has not yet been cleared. (Plus I still believe some suppliers changed the conditions quite dramatically from 90 day payment to cash on delivery — which is a story that might be worth looking into as well)

  16. The spare parts division might produce some spare parts but they primarily sell spare parts they buy from suppliers.

    It iwan more a sales organisation than a production organisation.

    The spare parts are made by suppliers and not the spare parts division of Saab. They also sell Opel spare parts in some countries for instance.

  17. Don’t you guess forget that Spyker also has a EUR 150 million Equity Credit Line Facility with
    GEM Global Yield Fund Limited (“GEM”)? It is very “expensive” money to use and the conditions are maybe not ideal, but in these times it might be a good idea to use it?

    26-01-2010

    As back-up financing, Spyker entered into a EUR 150 million Equity Credit Line Facility with GEM Global Yield Fund Limited (“GEM”) for a term of 3 years. According to this facility, Spyker may issue shares to GEM at 90 per cent of the volume weighted average price of the shares over a period of 15 trading days following a draw down notice sent to GEM by Spyker. In relation to the GEM facility, Spyker has issued to GEM share warrants in respect of 1,570,000 ordinary shares at an exercise price of EUR 4 per ordinary share. The warrants have a 5 year term.

    http://www.spykercars.nl/download/investor/statement_SAAB_jan_26_final.pdf

  18. And some more info about GEM:

    About GEM Group
    Global Emerging Markets Limited, http://www.gemny.com, was founded in 1991. GEM is a $3.4b investment group having completed 285 transactions in 60 countries. The firm is an alternative investment group that manages a diverse set of investment vehicles across the world. GEM‟s funds include: CITIC/GEM Fund; VC Bank/GEM Mena Fund; Kinderhook; GEM Global Yield Fund; GEM India and Banco Pine/GEM Funds.
    http://www.gemny.com/

  19. I don’t know any person who is so much in love with their cars like we are. This kind of support was extremely important in 2010 and it will continue that way. From the business perspective, I truly believe that SAAB has everything to succeed: A fantastic new 9-5, 9-5 SC on the way, 9-4x great for the Americas, and a restyled 9-3 with those TTiD engines which are a benchmark in this segment. Things were going reasonably ok, sales were picking up almost everywhere. During March 2010 only one SAAB was sold in Portugal. In 2011 there were 28 ! 58 since January 2011 against 8 in 2010. This is a very small market and we are going through some very difficult times around here as some of you might know, nevertheless these numbers speak for themselves. As a SAAB nut myself, it’s very hard for me to see these news again, kind of dejá vu, and a bad one. But people at SAAB have shown us already what they are capable of. SAAB is a very atractive brand, even more now than a year ago, so it should get up once again. After that, a more agressive marketing is necessary, and like me I bet there are others who also have some ideas for this. At this point the only thing we can do is to wait and be positive. “Why do we fall master Bruce ?” ” So we can learn to pick ourselves up”. SAAB up !

  20. Remember that tax payers in Sweden have to pay for more than 4000 employers which will be out of jobs – I think that means more than 1000 mil. swed. krones every year from closing date of SAAB factory and some external firms – perhaps a good investment will be to lend SAAB 500.mill. yearly the next 3 year obviously the best solusion for all of us – WAKE UP SWEDISH GOVERNMENT !!

      • I think that a heavy “family” like -SAABS UNITED and friends -can make a difference – to tell Maud and especially prime minister Reinfeld the understanding of money and political handling ; remember 40 % of the Sweeds loves SAAB , this means 2 mill. voters.

  21. First thing to do tomorrow morning for both VM and VA= to meet EIB.
    I think those bankers have been upset to be presurized by ndo, without any meeting with VA.
    Never treat your banker with arrogance, never !

    • Interesting, but certainly very unclear what it is about or even whether it is a new approach from EIB or something overly optimistc that VM has sais about the old bid.

      But, as VM hints, his job is to save Saab, not to comment or discuss any draft outlines with the media or SU, so let’s once again stay calm and carry on with Easter untill Muller & Co has something to report. As long as they are still working on it, no news is good news.

  22. Hi all,

    Reading all the comments in the several past days I have to say that my faith is back. Hope is all we can do in such difficult times. By the way I am a bit fed up with comments like “go and buy a Saab” – like a pair of socks or whatever. I live in Eastern-Europe and here people just simply doesn’t have the money for any new car expecially for an expensive one like the new 9-5. My dad has a used 9-5 Aero and me, I have a GM900 because this is the age when we can afford such cars. So we can only cross fingers, sorry 🙂

    MrT

  23. @Iggy, maybe VM means that when Saab/Spyker is “released” from the EIB loan it will be easier for them to lean money somewhere else.

    The only “small problem” is that they have to find somebody who wants to lean them 217 million within 90 days.

  24. Back to the basics again. Financial problems-Bad publicity and customers wondering about their favourite brand future. Anyone that wanted to buy a SAAB rethinks about it and people that own one try to sell it. This whole situation is exactly the same as last year. Saab owners had a target of 80.000 sells. Let’s face it. How can SAAB succeed in purpose when there where no new vehicles .9-3 facelift from June 2007-,9-7 a big failure and 9-5 just released at the end of the year. 33.000 vehicles sold last year. How many cars do you think SAAB will sell this year after all these? And do not forget SAAB has released two new production vehicles (9-5,9-4) and two more to come (9-3,9-1).Some people get annoyed with this. Let’s all support our lovely brand and cross our fingers for a successful outcome.

  25. In 2005, I bought my very first Mac computer. At that time, Macs were still not that common and I got a few comments along the the lines of ”Mac, huh? Why didn’t ‘ya buy a real computer instead (har, har)?”. It was not that long before, in 1997, that Michael Dell, when asked what he would do to ”fix” Apple, uttered the now (in-)famous ”What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders”. Well, we all know how it turned out; today, Apple’s stock value is more than ten times the value of Dell’s and Macs, iPods, iPads and iPhones are found everywhere.
    So, what’s that got do with SAAB? Well, there are of course a number of differences but also, I think, a few interesting similarities. Apple products are often criticized for being too expensive and critics claim that other brands contain the same – or better – hardware for a lower price. This might often appear to be true, but the critics are missing the point; Apple delivers something most other brands don’t – ease of use, stability, quality and great design, all rolled into one. Some competitors might be able to deliver some of those things, but so far none of them manage to deliver it all in one package, like Apple does. And here’s the thing; people are actually prepared to pay slightly higher prices for Apple products, even though they could theoretically buy the ”same” hardware and competing software for less money, simply because they want the Apple ”package”.
    Just like Apple, SAAB has always gone it’s own way. The company clearly has it’s own ideas about what makes a great car and it produces high quality cars that are great fun to drive and, on top of that, have a beautiful, distinctive design. If you compare a SAAB car with other brands, you may think you can get the same ”hardware” cheaper elsewhere, but you will never – at least not at a comparable price – get the ”package” that is a SAAB; the combination of superior, cutting edge engineering, quality, distinctive design and fun behind the wheel, at a reasonable price. In my opinion, a SAAB car embodies all of those qualities in a way that no other brand does and people who recognize that are prepared to pay a price that might appear be too high to others. That is why I think that SAAB, in spite of it’s earlier difficulties, does have a future. There are enough people in the world who are able to appreciate the special qualities these cars have to offer and who prefer to drive a car that actually stands out from the rest. On top of that, SAAB has the strongest line-up of new models in modern time; the new critically acclaimed 9-5 sedan, the 9-4x, the 9-5 sportcombi and, in 2012, the new 9-3, containing a lot of the exciting new technology shown in the PhoeniX concept.

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