Friday Morning Snippets: Let’s Get Rolling Already

Most of the news this morning provides a good wrap up of what’s going on with the various players who hold the keys to Saab restarting production. Click through for an article from Dagens Industri about the meeting with NDRC representatives, ttela’s impressions of what the NDO needs to move the deals forward, and optimistic yet still frank and nervous supplier talk. Finally a reminder of why we care so much about these cars in the first place, Swade does a great job updating us on what the Best of the Road contestants are up to. The 9-4X video is pretty fun.

Dagens Industri covers what they know of the meeting between the Chinese NDRC, Maud Olofsson, and the Saab delegation (original article here). Victor Muller attended the first part of the meeting, and the Chinese delegation was interested to understand more about Saab’s current and future situation from the Swedish government. According to Olofsson,

“They see continued challenges in this business. It was important for me to give an idea of how we look at the Saab and future cooperation. They were satisfied with the cooperation between Volvo and Geely, for Saab looks a little different because we are in an emergency.”
She wouldn’t speculate on what their decision might be.
“It is too early to say, it was our first meeting and we had the opportunity to inform each other,” she says to Echo…”But one should remember that they are tough businessmen and they are hard in terms of requirements.”As was covered here yesterday, Vladimir Antonov was present in Stockholm, though he did not meet with any government representatives, IF Metall Boss Stefan Löven said. Lars Carlstrom confirmed that Antonov is back in London today. 


According to ttela (original article here), the NDO is waiting on Saab for key documents, though they’re not specifying their importance or subject. “In any case, documents that are necessary for a decision. Our trial can not be completed until we receive them,” communications manager of the NDO, Unni Jerndal, told ttela.

The good news is that she confirmed Saab’s case is prepared for a decision and is a top priority.

On the subject of whether the EIB is upset with Sweden’s NDO, Jerndal said she wasn’t aware of evidence of this. At the same time, she reiterated the NDO’s earlier assessment of Vladimir Antonov. “We made an examination of the question of ownership and approved Antonov April 28. The decision we made we want to retain,” Jerndal said.


As much has transpired in the past few days regarding Saab’s short term financing picture, until the long term finances are clear and approved, ttela writes that the union IF Metall is still concerned about unemployment amongst their ranks (original article here).

“The uncertainty is still too high,” Ulf Holmeby from Lear in Trollhättan told ttela. Lear Trollhättan depends on Saab for 90% of their work. They’re keeping their notices of termination for all 163 workers active, just in case of the worst case scenario.

This situation repeats itself at most other sub-contractors who have been forced to lay off staff because of Saab’s production stops and liabilities. Per-Ewe Wendel, President of Plastal Industri AB, told ttela, “No one knows whether Saab will survive. Only when there is a clear, long-term financing solution, we will consider to withdraw the notices.”

While there’s optimism, due to Sweden’s favorable labor laws, these companies need to give notice their customers to protect themselves in the worst case scenario. As soon as we see these notices go away, most likely when a long term financing deal with the Chinese goes through in September or maybe even before, a lot of subcontractors in Sweden, and a lot of hopeful Saab customers, will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Over at Inside Saab, Swade put together a comprehensive view of what the Best of the Road teams are up to. I highly suggest you follow the updates. Very entertaining stuff.
The Luxurious Beast:

20 thoughts on “Friday Morning Snippets: Let’s Get Rolling Already”

  1. I hope Maud didn’t focus in the discussion with the NDRC on the possibilities of building bicycles and windmills at Saab’s facilities in THN…

    • VM and VA should consider starting SAAB Windmill Division. Think about. We got all the parts. Boston Power, AAM, ZF.
      Time to go after some of that “free” Govt money as it seems Saab hasn’t been ‘green enough’ with its class leading clean diesel technology and ePower project?

  2. “… said Maud Olofsson to echo after the meeting.”

    To echo? Que? Love the auto translations 😀 Well, not that much.

    It’s “Ekot”; the news programme in the Swedish Radio (the Swedish NPR).

    • Ha! When I copied the quote, I highlighted too much. Was focused so much on cleaning up her words I skipped over the part after the quote. Fixed 😉

      • 🙂 Thanks; it wasn’t important, more fun. Sometimes I get the impression that many people here (living outside Sweden) are fluent in Swedish, at least when they comment on articles, guess the translation tools do help.
        You all do a great work, Jeff!

  3. Volvo is selling great, espessially the xc60. I think this may have a positive effect on the Saab deals. Saab is developing a brand new model, the new 9-3 hatchback, convertible and a model so far named x, all with a modern engine and a new very interesting electical rear axle.
    There is a very efficient plant in Trollhattan (that can produce 200000 cars) and Saab is developing their new cars there too. Saab has a great great future, the next 100 or 200000 cars must be manufactured in outside Sweden. I think the new partnerships will be good for Saab.

    • Here’s the full version of the EIB story from Dagens Nyheter. All the other papers just have a short summary written by TT.

      A snippet (in my translation):

      According to Lars Carlström, discussions are being held with “a couple of commercial European banks” who, when the right situation arises, quickly can take over the credit that Saab has with the EIB. So far, the car company has used around two billion kronor of the total credit that the EIB has made available.

      – Saab first needs to show that the company has achieved stability in its cash flow and has good revenue. Only car production and sales can do that. Showing that you live on advances and other supporting credits isn’t good enough, says Lars Carlström.

          • Precisely. It was considered even a year ago as I recall.

            My guess is that the banks have stabilized after the crisis now, so the situation is easier compared to only a year ago. (I have not paid attention to the banks much though)

            EIB was important in 2009 since only governments had money on hand.

            PS: The lack of an official governmental approval would make it more difficult for Antonov to secure such a loan, no? There are so many catch-22s in place that they should start calling it “catch-222”.

  4. Right, I’m now totally confused!!!! With all that’s happened in the last few days, all I want to know is have the suppliers who filed the bankruptcy orders that were due to take effect on Monday been paid and therefore have the actions been dropped? Have I missed that bit? Or are all the negoitations going on at the moment to help settle that amongst other things? Because surely if they haven’t everything else is slightly redundant?

    • Things are operating at different levels.
      There are those who have passed their claims on to the collection agency.
      That’s the very slow approach, and it will probably take months to process that.

      The Unions have taken back their threat with the payment of salaries.

      The rest of the suppliers simply do not deliver.
      That is the main problem, and where the negotiations are going on.

      CLEPA has been out asking Saab to declare bankruptcy, but as far as I know nothing more.

      Not that it makes things any clearer

  5. That would seem to have been all Bovine Excrement and Hype, I believe there were posts in one of the threads in the last couple of days quoting the Swedish Government dept that deals with these issue’s stating that they had not received any actual valid applications from creditors to take action against Saab, can one of the Swedish contributors confirm this?

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