Endeavor the Bank accounts and the 9-3

I don’t think it will be much going on this weekend regarding to Saab, so we should concentrate on the beautiful things of life and enjoy the SOC, or the pictures from the SOC, if you could not arrange to be there. 🙂

Nevertheless there are three pieces of news we have received from two of our readers I would like to share with you. Thank you Jason and Iggy.

It seems like after it came out that Endeavor is the name of the future financial partner for Swedish Automobile NV, some people tried to get more information about it, which is a good thing, as it shows that there is still some interest in Saab around the globe.

Just-Auto has interviewed an Endeavor spokesman, and this is more or less what he said.

“I believe we could expect to have something in the next week or two, some kind of announcement. It could be EUR250m to EUR350m. They [Saab] could be able to get this money and pay their suppliers right away – they could start manufacturing cars – that could happen in a couple of weeks.”

With that money they could pay the suppliers and still have some change for a couple of months till the Chinese partners are also allowed to enter the party.

Nevertheless, after Saab will get the money it will still take some weeks till the production can be restarted.

According to ttela.se the Enforcement agency has frozen a bank account by Saab, but this seems not to be truth if we believe market watch.

I think that the Enforcement agency will continue the process no matter what different news sites says, and the only good thing I see is that they seem to be in dialogue with Saab, so the salaries for August should be secured. We will see next week.

Autocar in the UK has reviewed the 9-3 SC Griffin TTiD 160, although they call it SE.

It is a fair test, it says that the car is sometimes showing its age, but it is still very competitive.

Inside, there are some changes to seats and trim, plus some additional equipment for the £24,120 you’ll pay for this model. Which, given that it delivers 158bhp and still, to my eyes, looks fairly classy, leaves the Saab appearing conspicuously good value next to, say, a similarly powered Audi A4 or BMW 3-series.

And the writer ends asking himself if he would buy one-

Should I buy one?
I warmed to the 9-3 far more than I expected to. It feels compact and straightforward, slightly out of its time but pleasant to be around and not unlike a Seat Exeo in some respects: smaller than the newest cars, but no worse for it.

That Saab needs a replacement is a given (see above for the latest shenanigans on that score). In the meantime, the 9-3 continues, off the pace but not totally out of contention.

Yes, I think the comparison with the Seat Exeo is a good one, as that car is nothing but a last generation Audi A4 with a new fascia and slightly renewed engines. You can’t sell the Seat for the price tag of an Audi, but Saab isn’t doing it either.

48 thoughts on “Endeavor the Bank accounts and the 9-3”

  1. “I believe we could expect to have something in the next week or two, some kind of announcement. It could be EUR250m to EUR350m. They [Saab] could be able to get this money and pay their suppliers right away – they could start manufacturing cars – that could happen in a couple of weeks.”

    So, from now on the discussion about the restart of the factory in W35 is pointless, while it won’t be restarted in 29th August or even in w35…And I just wonder how and when Saab is going to inform its dealers and customers about this….

    • That would depend on if there are other parts in the puzzle I would imagine.
      We will not know until sometime next week.
      BTW. there has been no statement from Saab saying they would start in W35.
      They have set it up as an earliest possible starting point.
      But apart from that I would say that it would do a lot for credibility if they did

      • Several Swedish media on Aug 19 published Gunnar Brunius message from SAAB here, that SAAB´s production start now is postponed until a today indefinite date, when SAAB has necessary short term financing.

        Swedish media also reported Aug 17 that the Debt Enforcement Agency will collect 16 claims, total 41 million SEK due in August. SAAB Swedish bank accounts will be frozen for SAAB until DEA gets its due payments. Today about 90 supplier claims, exceeding 160 million SEK (according to GT) are forwarded to DEA, which amount will become due for DEA collection in September-October.

        This list is growing day by day and the obvious reason why SAAB cannot start production.

        • The swedish media copying each other.

          But I think if Saab get EUR250m or so, and they pay the suppliers I think they are happy enough to start to deliver to Saab as soon as they can.
          But w35 is short time if so.
          But anyway it’s better they start sometime than not at all.

          • Well… Beyond the EUR 250m there’s still the issue of the terms that the suppliers will ask SAAB abides to if and when production resumes. I see suppliers demanding for cash on delivery for quite some time, until their trust in SAAB is reestablished. Hopefully someone is checking how much that will impact SAAB’s financing needs.

  2. Re the Autocar review, I have one of these cars (pic in a previous post) and agree with his comments – I would add what a pleasure it is to drive.

  3. Just read the full Autocar review and the comment “But, as I settle down into it – on a driving seat that proved too high and too close to the dashboard for several of our testers ” . Well, I`m 6ft 2ins and don`t have a problem. I can only think the journos in question are of the Clarkson type – big heads and beer-bellies!

    • I think they have done something to the seats. I have no problem in a 2008 or 2009 but in the 2011 or the Griffin it is suddenly less space and certainly less room for manouvering.

      This could be a cost saving thing they thought nobody would realize.

      • Grumpy,
        Could they be slightly narrower than 2008/9 models? Although before I decided to buy, I measured the front seats every which way and compared them to my Accord – all the important measurements, (width, length etc) were the same.

    • I’m 6 ft 1 and my MY08 aero seat base is too short and low to support my legs. If you raise the seat, only the rear of base goes up? My wifes Vauxhall seat allows whole seat to raise AND front to tilt, why not my saab?

  4. “I don’t think it will be much going on this weekend regarding to Saab,”

    from czech news agency article on auto.cz (car i-portal) says Swedish Tax Authorities started to confiscate the Saab’s property on Fri due to unpaid bills transfered to the Swedish Tax Authorities.
    I dont know how system with claims works in SWE.
    But can someone – in spite of the “we will be silent policy” :-/ – find out if that is true?

    • I think that is the story referenced in this post.
      We are talking assets from banks.
      DEA found the 5,1 mill SEK needed to cover the claims for this week in one of Saabs banks.
      Someone then claims that it was a misunderstanding and that those accounts could not be frozen.

      There are no unpiad bills to the tax authorities.
      They were paid yesterday, on time

      But the short of it is that by the end of next week a lot of claims will be tried collected, either by cash in banks, or by going after other assets.

  5. To me, the news about Endeavor is ever so slightly dispiriting. They say that they have only just taken on Saab. So what have the management been doing over the summer? They must have already tried all sorts of other options and none of them have so far worked out. And, with regard to what Endeavor say, when you get a new client and the prospect of high commission income of course you are going to talk the deal up.

    I regret to say this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the stumbling blocks may be the present management. Given what we know about their performance over the last eighteen months would you offer them half-a-billion Euro of your money to manage the recovery? There might be a rather better chance of survival of the brand if SWAN were to offer to sell Saab and extract themselves from the business entirely. Of course, SWAN wouldn’t then be able to exact management fees and salaries and so the price would have to compensate them for that to an extent.

    Just a thought, rather negative I’m afraid – probably influenced by a bout of hay-fever.

      • Once Saab gets the Endeavor money, they should be fine… But it’s getting there that worries me. Maybe it’s just me, but 1-2 weeks seems like a stretch for Saab now, and the fact that the limit for Endeavor to find the money for Saab is 60 days is somewhat disconcerting as well. But who knows; VM has performed some nifty magic tricks in the recent past, so I have faith in him and his crew. Saab’s just in a very precarious place now, and it could go either way now.

    • Well I think also some money comes in from 11 000 orders, including my 9-5 SC aero from which I think Saab gets about 40 000 euros… If these cars are done within 2-3 monts after putting the line on, they create another 300 million euros. Of course there is payments to suppliers which needs to pay. I have been just wondering how many procents of let´s say 30 000 euros Saab-car is done by suppliers? Anybody know or is it a secret?

      • Saab already received a lot of this money.

        Pang Da and another “anonymous” Chinese company ordered a lot of cars and already paid for them.

        Pang Da bought 1,930 cars and paid 45 million euro. The other company (Youngman?) ordered 582 cars and paid 13 million euro.

        So in total Saab already received 58 million euro’s for 2,512 of the 11,000 cars they claim to have in the orderbooks.

        Given the amount of 23,000 euro they received on average they will get another 195 million euro for the rest of the cars. But you should not forget that they first have to buy parts for these cars and spend money in advance. Several weeks later they receive the money from dealers/importers.

        The “profit” per car is very low and less than 5% (you can find this in the annual report). So selling those 11,000 cars will only give Saab a gross(!) profit of 12.7 million euro. And that money has to be used to cover other, non production related costs. Such as interest on the many loans Saab has or needs to be spend on marketeting or R&D.

        So there will be a big cash inflow, but also (a bigger) cash outflow. And that is not strange if you know that Saab is a loss making company. When they sell more than 80,000 cars they will receive more money than they have to spend and they will be able to earn a profit.

      • I looked it up for you. The gross margin in 2010 was: 7,8%. This means that of every euro Saab receives for a sold car they have to spend 0,922 euro on production.

        Net Sales in 2010 were: 819,235,000
        Cost of Sales in 2010 were: 755,045,000
        So the Gross Margin was 64,190,000

        Net sales comprises:
        Sales of goods
        Parts (After Sales)

        Cost of sales comprises:
        – Material costs
        – Manufacturing costs – value added
        – Depreciation and amortization
        – Impairment charges (on property, plant and equipment)


          • There’s pricing power, built on top of a strong brand image 😉

            SAAB, historically, did relatively well, as they were the only GM brand to be able to sell Epsilon-based cars for more than USD 30K. But in today’s situation your assessment regarding the hardships facing SAAB in order to ramp up production and satisfy the order book is spot-on. Add to the low profit per car the issue that suppliers might feel ‘burned’ and therefore might be demanding cash on delivery until they rebuild trust in SAAB, and the company’s financing needs grow significantly.

  6. I find it interesting that Endeavor keeps being mentioned as a “financial partner”. They are, it appears from their website, an advisory firm and not an investment fund / fund manager. I think it would be important that posts accurately reflect that.

      • So, to begin with, having got Saab as a new client they are obviously going to be very upbeat about their chances of finding potential investors. And they are going to let as many people as possible know that they have an international brand on their books because that helps business, hence the announcement. But that doesn’t mean that they will be any more successful in finding investors than all the other potential avenues that Saab must have been trying over the summer. In fact, rather than saying ‘hooray we’ve got lots of short-term financing on the way’ I think this ‘news’ might actually be saying ‘look, we’ve tried everything else, now we’re going to give these guys a shot’ and rather than a step forward this might actually be a step back in desperation and the potential for financing no further advanced. The announcement may in any case have been precipitated by the publication on Endeavor’s web site and the requirement to keep the market informed. But hey! I’m trying hard to become a glass-half-full type, and to remain positive. The best of luck to them!

  7. Grumpy! I belive it’s been a minor change in the us models in 2011. You cant move the as far back as you could in the earlier models. Can’t really remember why though.

  8. It is often that Motor Magazine says that the car feels old when it has a number of years on the back of the head. It seems often as if they say it just for the age’s sake and not in order to it is experienced as old. Intend if they instead could say that since the car has a number of years on the back of the head it has no longer some child’s disease. When it applies to 9-3 I can understand that some people lack active speed control, better back sensor and perhaps lane control. On the other hand, the majority maybe do not want to have these finesses.

    • You´re perfectly right: an old SAAB can easily be compared with a brand new middle price brand today.
      Past summer we were looking for a new car, desperately. We wanted a 9-5 2,3l model – but there were none to find anywhere. If we did – it was sold the very next hour…

      We almost gave up. After two months of searching, I tried some other brands in the price class acceptable. And we realized something: our old 9-5 -01 felt very modern in every way (well, maybe not new high tech finesses though)!

      So we kept searching til we found a wonderful -08. And after 10 months I still haven´t used half of all the extra finesses at all. The back sensors, rain sensors and Sport equippment is highly appreciated 🙂

    • Right on! how much have cars really changed in 100 years? Looked at from a technical perspective, the basic principles of construction etc: surprisingly little. Different methods of manufacturing, and different technologies to arrive at the same practical use values – maybe with some more polish and comfort – with less manufacturing costs, and of course, sometimes, resource usage. That’s about it. They’re still doing more or less the same thing they did back when. The rest is fashion (ah, now we can have colors!? Diamond Dust – paint with recycled glass flakes in it – as in the Fisker Karma!) and commodification. Car mags can’t easily admit this, but it’s a pity when the enforced cycles of fashion hits car manufacturers who actually are creating something special. And so we’re here. Just when it is about to get exciting – technically and otherwise.

  9. Wait, is this money supposed to be used to pay suppliers/employees/production restart OR to repay the EIB loan and get them out of the picture?

      • Well if VA does have the same amount of money to spend, then Saab should use the money that Endeavor raises to take over the EIB, and VA’s money to restart production, while the chinese money is used for their original purpose: Midterm financing.

      • Vladimir Antonov wants to invest “only” 100 million euro and nog 250/350 million. This is something he (and Lars Carlstöm) have mentioned multiple times in the past.

    • The most logical thing would be the following scenario:

      – Endeavor Advisory Group finds investors who are willing to take over the EIB & GM loans
      – Vladimir Antonov investest 100 million in Saab to restart production
      – Vladimir Antonov buys the shares VM had in SWAN (giving him 28% of the shares)

      • Why would Vladimir Antonov purchase the shares VM had in Swan if he only wants to invest a total of 100 million total in Saab?

        I thought that was one of the main problems all along. VA cant get in because of the EIB, and VA wants (roughly) a third of the company. I was under the impression that VA wanted to purchase a third of the company for 100 million….

        • Victor Muller bought these shares from Vladimir Antonov with money he got from Vladimir Antonov. Antonov did this because he could not be a direct shareholder, but when the EIB & GM are out of the picture he can have his shares back.

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