No luck for the liquidators… besides getting wealthy themselves

According to Swedish radio Väst and the talented reporter Victor Jensen the following has happened.
The liquidators have not manage to bring in a single krona on all the 37 sue processes (totaling 580 million SEK) against 37 sub-contractors both Swedish and International. So far 7 cases have been settled in court and the liquidators have lost all of them. 3 settlements and 4 lost battles “worth” 200 million SEK. The two latter was OPEL AG and GM. Instead of an up-side for the liquidators they have to pay the court costs for ore than 1 million SEK.
So far the law firms handling the liquidation has made over 200 million SEK in fees. The hourly cost has been close to 4500 SEK.
According to Fredrik Sidahl of the Sub suppliers organization the only winner are the liquidators.

14 thoughts on “No luck for the liquidators… besides getting wealthy themselves”

  1. I had to read that a few times to figure out who/what/where….!

    In a nutshell, the administrators of the old saab automobile bankruptcy estate have gone to court seven times against previous sub suppliers. They have have made three settlements and lost 4 battles – but haven’t gained a kronor for the estate.

    The legal fees , so far for the entire administration of the bankruptcy estate, is 200m SEK. ($27m, approx). Note – they did not spend 200msek just on those court cases.

    Now. Many of those cases would have been defending the estate against incoming lawsuits and claims – not the other way around.

    Saabs bankruptcy was massive, complex and spread over many intertwined entities over several countries.

    For instance, just last September a US court had the following $4.2m case going on. ( which the administrators would have had to deal with)

    By Jamie Santo

    Law360, Wilmington (September 25, 2014, 5:56 PM ET) — The liquidation trustee for Saab Cars North America Inc. urged a Delaware bankruptcy judge Wednesday to compel Swedish parent Saab Automobile AB to hand over $4.2 million, funds that SCNA said are being held in defiance of its confirmed Chapter 11 plan.

    SCNA paid $4.2 million to guarantee a loan taken by Saab and subsequently reached an agreement with the lenders that the U.S. unit would be repaid from collateral once its bankrupt parent satisfied the loan obligations, but the Swedish estate will not release the funds….

    In hindsight, those who crave a less messy and less costly resolution should have supported GM s wind down. Few, or fewer businesses would have got hurt, warranties would have remained in place , resale values probably would have been better, and who knows what green shoots would have emerged in Trollhatten, that would have thrived, rather than ending up as spent energy trying to keep a dying elephant alive.

    The whole spyker episode resulted in , what – 8000 NG 9-5s, 437 9-4s and a about 30 000 more 9-3s.

    At what cost? In reality , many, many millions of kronor of real wealth went down the drain in those 2 very costly years. Far beyond the value of those cars, and whatever else they were working on.

    So, don’t necessarily blame the lawyers – they did not create this massive $2 billion mess! ( and no, I’m not a lawyer!)

    • Muller was also prevented from accepting money from at least one or two investors who seemed willing to fund him through some rough patches Saab was hitting. “Can’t deal with the devil” they said. Well, it appears he was already dealing with some devils—-who wouldn’t let him do what was needed to save his company and save thousands of jobs. I guess some Swede government officials or EU hypocrites “didn’t like the Rooskie” Muller wanted to bring in.

  2. Anatov had enough question marks to make any official take pause. And even so, I dont think in the long run his funds were deep enough, regardless if they were legitimate or not.

    The Chinese saviours were all mirages.

    Bottom line, the thing was big time loss making, and had been for a long time. The spyker business plan was pie in the sky rosey – as their numbers confirmed, from the end of that first year.

    • Scand: Maybe a couple glimmers of hope? Add what’s needed to make the links work. Maybe we’re indeed getting closer.

    • Victor asserted to the very last moment that they continued to improve sales every month and were on the path to becoming self sustained by year’s end. Antonov’s purse, however slim, at the right moment, could have been enough.

      As for liquidating the factory back in January 2010 – there is no returning from that point. No licenses to 9-3, 9-5 or 9-4x would have been in play. Phoenix would not have been initiated. Nothing.

      Also keep in mind that during the Spyker-era, a number of Saab engineering departments were being spun off from the main company. Some (most?) of them are still afloat. This was the more controlled way of letting the factory go down, rather than face an immediate and abrupt liquidation.

      I now have a MY11 9-5. With a decent portion of luck, NEVS will have a replacement ready for me by 2022 or so.

      Every option was better than an all-out liquidation by 2010.

      • With all due respect – Victor asserted lots of things!

        I’m not sure at what point you are defining as ‘the very last moment’ (ie: Dec 2011, or when production first stopped in the spring) but US sales were 5446 in 2010 and 5610 in 2011 – when dealers had stock and were dumping cars towards the end of that year.

        In 2010 they were mostly sub 400-500 units sold per month in the US, except for 2 unusual spikes Sept at 1127 and December at 1074. I’m not sure what drove Septembers spike (August 2010 was 290, by comparison ) but I’m sure December’s number was spiked by not only some super aggressive deals, but also the old trick of registering cars as demos – to make it appear that they were ‘sold’.

        source for numbers :

        I know you have long maintained that some investment in spring 2011 could have got them over the hump to a self sustaining point relatively quickly. My view is that it just would have delayed the inevitable. I think they were hemorrhaging cash far faster than they were willing to acknowledge (or knew) , and sales were not going to climb to the required breakeven number quickly enough – or just as importantly, profitably enough, per unit sold in that immediate future, or anytime in the years immediately following 2011.

        The brand at that point was just too weak (because of the GM wind down) for many mainstream buyers to take the plunge with an expensive 9-5 or 9-4 over safer bets from the German 3 , for example. Thus most of the sales they were getting in the Spyker era were to die hard core customers.

        • I’m quoting what Victor said at the press conference the day the bankruptcy was announced. He said they were lagging behind the Koenigsegg plan by a few months. That plan hinged on a gradual increase in sales which Victor said was happening.

          But yeah, that plan did not leave much room for play. If it did, Koenigsegg wouldn’t have jumped ship (incidentally, heavy media attention has been mentioned as being partly to blame for sinking that deal).

          However… As I said: Even Spyker’s underfunded venture was an infinitely much better option than a full liquidation January 2010.

          Personally my favorite from 2009 was Renco. I haven’t followed them recently, but it is my belief they actually had decent funding in place.

  3. As far as I can recall, the 2010 plan initially called for producing 50000 cars. In the latter part of the year, this target got revised downwards to 45000, then to down to 35000. They actually produced 32000. The retail sales in 2010 were 28000, so it’s hard to tell if they reduced the production forecasts because of the real selling rate, or were the retail sales at that rate due to production levels?

    I know there were legitimate mitigating factors due to the restart up, but if you look at the quarterly production figures, they were not that much different between each of q2,3,4 of 2010, the start up being in q1, and thus , low production in that quarter.

    Production exceeded retail sales in q2,3,4 and so if they had manufactured 50 000 cars that year, possibly they would have had a lot of unsold units ‘somewhere’.

    Anyway, whatever the real reason – they missed their target by a wide margin. A margin that was a hammer blow to cashflow.

  4. The banter on this forum is interesting to read. I was one of the 1st purchasers of the new SAAB 9-5 turbo4 in South Florida paying near retail $39,000. USD. Some are saying” big deal” is as I will explain. I never owned a SAAB but, have liked the designs. A years prior to the 9-5 my wife and bought a new Lexus IS250. Fast forward to January 2011 my son’s birth and now safety is all thats on my mind. I am thinking of a new bigger safer car or SUV like the VolvoXC90 or sedan S80. I sat behind the wheel of Volvo S80 and was it a dated design still and had little going for it except a cheap price as little as $28,000 for demo model – dealers couldnt move previous years models off the lot without steep discounts. The new S60 was on display but was dull shaped. Next, I had seen those sporty SAAB 9-3 convertbiles popular in South Florida, so maybe a 9-3 (4) door would work. So leaving the Volvo dealer disappointed; went over to the SAAB dealer. The SAAB showroom was just remodeled and looked similar to the Champion Porshche showroom. The new SAAB showroom was state of the art and thats where I see a new car larger SAAB for the 1st time (this was the issue) I stumbled onto the new 9-5 by accident, its not supposed to work this way. The SAAB 9-5 with its cutting edge design similar to the $90,000 porche Panamera. The dealer had 3 SAAB Aeros which were about $49,000 – $59,000. Here in South Florida we “had” yes had 3 dedicated dealers (Miami, Broward, Palm Beach) we now have just (1). After I owned the new 9-5 the car was debuted on a (1) billboard I could find a month later in Broward I-95 that said the all new SAAB 9-5, this between the 3 cities. Followed by I think one week of advertising on the Discovey channel. The ad made sense to current SAAB owners but not potential owner “Our most advance SAAB” why not the most advance car or something. The best place which is the news hour where the coveted Infiniti, Jaguar, lexus 3 german cars market. The point I am making is I found out about the 9-5 by accident not from marketing or a proper sales launch. So if SAAB survives into 2015 the 9-3 Electric it will likely use the current 9-3 body style and not the newer 9-3 reworkded car that was on the drawing board. How does the company promote this as the all new E-car in an old style car? Yes it will have likely the best safety but it would need pricing lower than Tesla? It sure would look better than the Prius, but who on this forum is truly willing to shell out the $45,000++ USD if a new electric SAAB debutes? We have (2) SAAB dealers left in Florida with the SAAB logo signs still flying that, The semi new SAAB 9-3 electric would be a few thousand less than Tesla and the goofy looking BMWi. So unless demand is shown for new buyers of SAAB’s in the USA and not just SAAB parts for the cars its unlikely will see them here. How can you help …if your truly able to afford a new SAAB and or Electric SAAB and in the USA or Canada goto to the contact us on SAAB – NEVS site give them your name and address. NEVs can use this information to submit to the potential interested buyer (which also still might be out of India). The India company already makes budget priced electric cars for sale could use a premuim line similar to TATA motors Jaguar-LandRover division bought for just 2.3 billion.

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