SCNA Has Won Approval For Its Chapter 11 Plan

While checking for what Saab news I could come across this morning, I came across a completion to the almost year and a half bankruptcy process of Saab Cars North America. The article was posted yesterday at 7:58PM and stated that Saab’s US unit gets nod for ch. 11 liquidation.

Some of the important points from the Law360 post are below:

The estate of Saab Cars North America Inc. is expected to have a liquidating trust of about $20 million to use for disbursements that will see administrative, priority and secured claims paid in full, attorneys for the company said in court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi said “good lawyering” helped navigate what began as a rancorous case into the home stretch of a seemingly peaceful close.

“This is certainly a much better result than it looked like it would be in the beginning,” Judge Sontchi said from the bench. “I’m happy to sign the [confirmation] order.”

Under the plan, all classes of creditors except those holding unsecured and equity claims are expected to receive a full recovery.

Unsecured creditors owed $77 million are expected to receive anywhere between a 25- to 82-percent recovery depending on the success of certain estate causes of action and whether Saab AB and Saab Parts AB eliminate or substantially reduce each of their intercompany claims against SCNA, according to the disclosure statement.

Equity holders are expected to receive nothing.

Ally Financials claim of 18.5 million will be listed as satisfied after reaching a settlement in May, according to the court records.

Under the settlement agreement, Ally will see about 3.8 million from the sale of vehicles that had been in port with the rest, about 13.6 million going back to the SCNA estate.

I had reached out to Tim Colbeck to ask for his thoughts on yesterdays decision and his response was that “Yesterday was bittersweet, in that it represented the final disposition of SCNA, but  also the result was as good as it could have been given the circumstances.”

Yes, this really does seem to be as good as it could get given all the circumstances surrounding it and it feels good to see that a large number of creditors are expected to receive a full recovery. This chapter is nice to finally see come to a close.

 

9-4X Reaching Dealers

I just got off the phone with Michele Tinson of SCNA and a few Saab dealers, and I can confirm that those 9-4Xs I reported seeing at the port in Newark are finally reaching dealers. One of the first to receive them happens to be only a few miles away from the port, JMK Saab in Springfield, NJ. Sometime in the next few days I’ll take a drive out there to see them and get some pictures and footage. They have one of each trim level– Base, Premium, and Aero.

Once the first pre-ordered 9-4X hits a dealer that’s already sold one, we’ll have coverage of it as the first Saab of its kind ever sold. It’s going to be a fun event, and SCNA will be getting in on the action too. This should happen in the next week or so. If you’re a dealer reading this and have any news, please email us at [email protected] While I’ve spoken to a few of you, we’d love to hear what your experience with the 9-4X pre-sale has been like and how customers are reacting to it. While you’re at it, send in some photos of their deliveries if you can.

In other news, the 9-4X configurator is also finally live (but the interior photo section may still be glitchy- it just went up). Despite us being able to price it on truecar.com for months, now you have the option to select your trim, colors, wheels, and packages right from saabusa.com.

UPDATE:

I have a quick question for all readers and commenters– as Clay noted in comments, he’s anxiously awaiting delivery of his new 9-4X. Are there any East Coasters out there who pre-ordered one and are waiting for it to come in? Tri-staters are likely to get them first, so if you’re located in the NYC metro area especially (or even if you’re not), let us know in comments or send us an email ([email protected]) where you’re located, what model you bought, and what dealer you ordered from, so we can see which one of you is likely to be the first 9-4X customer delivery!

Saabs Coming to a Small Town Near You?

If you live in the US, that might just be the case. In the midst of all this negative press, the day to day operations of selling Saabs continues. I’m confident in Saab’s long term prospects, the products really just need to gain visibility to be sold. Saab has partnered with Rand McNally and USA Today and offered their Best of the Road event 5 Saabs, a mix of 9-3s, 9-5s, and a 9-4X. The winner who writes the best journal entry gets a brand new 9-4X. Teams were selected on the Best of the Road Website and are being judged on how many towns they visit and the quality of the journal entries by the time they all reach LA on July 15.If you’d like to meet each of the teams, you can read about the lucky Saab drivers here. You can see each city that readers of the websites nominated in each category, Most Beautiful, Fun, Patriotic, or Best Food. Full press release after the break.

Just tweeted from team CaptainandClark: Here’s our ride for the next three weeks & hopefully forever if we win!!! #bestoftheroad http://twitgoo.com/2d6y5h

And here’s Joanne S. who is part of the McNavigators team. They’re driving their Saab 9-5 in search of the most beautiful small towns in America, and are headed south to Coral Gables, FL, a suburb of Miami.

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Saab Stand at Motorexpo Toronto

Motorexpo, which is basically a traveling auto show aimed at the business lunch crowd near downtown cores, has already made two stops, first in LA and then in London. Now it’s moved into downtown Toronto, and our reader Yuri took some pictures and made some great observations. If you live in the greater Toronto area, the show is totally free and is open 10 AM-6 PM at Brookfield Place through Friday.

There’s not too many brands on display, GM is there though. Saab is surrounded by Jaguar, Porsche, Ferrari, Tesla, Range Rover, and Jaguar– the trend of show planners associating Saab with super high end brands like they did at the NY Auto Show continues. The Saab Cars North America team is representing the stand, which has a 9-5, 9-3 convertible, and 9-4X. Yuri reports that when he went down on his lunch break, there was a lot of interest around the Saab stand, with most of it around the 9-4X. He overheard questions like, “Who are the dealers in Toronto?” and “When will it be available?” It seems most Torontonians are unaware that the brand still exists, has such amazing new product, or even has a dealer in their area. Clearly, it’s time to change that.

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Autoline After Hours Interviews Tim Colbeck

Last night on Autoline After Hours, not to be confused with the more formal Autoline Daily, John McElroy and guest Peter M. De Lorenzo sat down with new President and COO of SCNA Tim Colbeck to discuss how his first month on the job went and what the future has in store for Saab, especially in North America. I really enjoyed the loose casual format of the show which gave Tim an opportunity to open up and express his passion for Saab clearly and without too many constraints. He did a great job, despite a dog being on set who every now and then wandered into shot. He also slipped some breaking news (that I hinted at in comments but wasn’t sure I was officially allowed to say) that the first production 9-4Xs left the factory at 5:30 PM yesterday on their way north.

Feel free to skip to 28:35 to jump over the intro sections, that’s when Tim comes on. I summarized a few key points which you can read after the break, including some paraphrased quotes I tried to get. I apologize in advance as they’re not 100% verbatim, but I did the best I could at 3:00 AM and I think it captured the gist of what was said. Needless to say this isn’t the last you’ll hear from Tim Colbeck, as I’ll have my own interview with him on the site in the next week.

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Saab US Sales Data – May 2011

It’s been a busy week for me, but I’m still around 🙂 I’ll have a big interview coming up in the next week to look for, in the meantime lets all be sobered by US Sales data.

I’m actually amazed that this many cars sold in the first place, seeing that the brand seemed to be teetering in the press. It just shows how good the cars are, and how receptive customers are to a strong dealer message. Sales for May 2011 were up 121% from last year, still not ideal but again better than I expected. Now that Saab is back on track and has a new team in place, I’m confident some strong moves will be made to reinforce Saab’s position and move the increasing stock that’s built up at dealers.

 

9-3

May Sales: 292                    (May 2010: 130)     Increase: +125%

Year to Date 2011: 2,607         (May 2010: 880)       Increase: +196%

Stock: 2,178                               (May 2010: 632)        Increase: +245%

 

9-5

May Sales: 93                       (May 2010: 25)      Increase: 272%

Year to Date 2011: 543            (May 2010: 170)       Increase: 219%

Stock: 1,776                               (May 2010: 44)         Increase: 3,936%

 

Total

May Sales: 385                    (May 2010: 174)    Increase: +121%

Year to Date 2011: 3,150         (May 2010: 1,130)    Increase: +179%

Stock: 3,954                               (May 2010: 699)      Increase: +466%

Saab Sponsors Aspen Shortsfest

Last week, Saab sponsored the 20th annual Aspen Shortsfest, which attracts an audience of over 30,000 guests annually, from local residents to Hollywood A-listers. All movies are under 40 minutes, and many go on to win Oscars in the category. The mountain west market, as CJ can tell you, could be a huge source of sales for the 9-4x. It’s great to see Saab going after this area aggressively (and better to see that there’s still good Spring skiing on Little Nell behind the 9-4x 😉 ). Saab uploaded a picture of the 9-4x on the streets of Aspen to their Facebook wall, and you can see their “Think Independently” video booth after the break.

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Saab press activities during the NAIAS

Saab won’t have a stand at the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) this year, but they’ll still have an opportunity for the press to meet up with the SCNA executive team, as well as an announcement to make.

Unfortunately you’ll need a press credential to get in, so it’s not for the rank and file.

My educated guess would be that the press conference will be at least partially concerned with the arrival of Hirsch Performance in the US.

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