Legal Snippets (the “sue ’em” edition)

Vladimir AntonovBeherman, the former Dutch importer of Saab, have decided to take GM to court. writes (if my google translation is anything to go by) that one reason could be GM’s refusal to let Spyker partner up with Youngman. GM’s last-minute refusal came at a point where there were no alternatives left.
That lawsuit is probably going to be a long shot, but maybe a recent interview with Carl-Peter Forster might help their case. “Jesus! GM had not invested in Saab’s product line for twelve years. When I started in 2005, I said: We must invest two billion dollars very soon. We have to make four new models.” Then the financial crisis hit in 2008. “It was very frustrating. We started investing too late.”.
Finally, Vladimir Antonov faced a setback earlier today as a British judge decided to extradite Antonov to Lithuanian authorities. Antonov’s lawyer indicates that he is going to appeal the ruling.

h/t Thomas, Paul and others.

Antonov, Saab and their fans


Given the present situation, there are a number of problems I’d love to have in their stead.

Some of the comments left on SU the past couple of days are almost ecstatic. Most of you have seen them. Apparently a number of people told us that Antonov was a crook and Saab was better off without him.

First of all: An arrest does not guarantee a conviction in a court case. Antonov remains innocent until proven guilty.

With that out of the way, I am curious about what a worst case scenario would have been. We need to deploy the ‘what if?’-machine and go back in time.

Read moreAntonov, Saab and their fans

Around Saab Snippets

Things are still quiet from Saab, but there are a few things out there that are worth mentioning, even if they are not directly Saab related.

I think all of us remember that Geely had again after 2009 shown interest in taking over Saab (or just the best pieces, who knows) just a few weeks ago. WantChinaTimes report now that they are facing financial troubles:

The Chinese-language Capital Week, however, reported that Li and Geely Group have been stuck in a financial rut. Geely has reportedly started to contact private domestic and overseas equity funds, such as Carlyle and TPG, for fresh funding, in order to repay Goldman Sachs for high-yield bonds. Most of these private equity funds are cautious about the request, due to their concern over Geely’s ability to repay.

Read moreAround Saab Snippets

Digging into Maud’s claims (for future reference)

First of all, the following is intended to again draw attention to the Swedish government’s lack of commitment to the Swedish automobile industry. I am not necessarily advocating spending the taxpayers’ money, although that would certainly be in everyone’s best interest. I am however reminding people that the government are still dragging their feet when asked to approve Antonov as a major shareholder of Saab. It seems as if the government are pushing EIB to not approve Antonov so the public won’t realize the government are actively trying to bury the automobile industry.

In any case: I find it both interesting as well as annoying the way politicians twist and turn around the issues at hand.

An excellent example is Maud Olofsson’s infamous letter to Mr Antonov.

Read moreDigging into Maud’s claims (for future reference)

Tired of waiting II

It seems like Tim is not the only one tired of waiting. Our friend Vladimir Antonov seems also tired of waiting, and has decided to expand his collection of car related companies.

CPP (Coventry Prototype Panels), the company that has bought the sports-car division of Swedish Automobile, and Bowler has now taken over the Italian Design Studio Zagato.

It is not much known about the deal, not to say that not even the deal is known, but on the site of Zagato Milano the company credit reads CPP milano s.l.r.

Robert Collin Calls Out Reinfeldt

Friend to SaabsUnited Robert Colin of Aftonbladet has written a very to the point and worthwhile summary of how the politicians at the top of the Swedish government reacted to the news of Saab’s troubles yesterday. Usually I leave the Swedish media or government rants to Tim as I’m American, but I can plainly see all the way from over here just how poorly they’ve handled this situation. I love Sweden– the history, the design heritage, the culture, and most of all the people. But right now, I’m not so in love with the ministers that run the place. For all those of you who live in Sweden, please bookmark this article so the next time that election cycles come around, you can remember how Prime Minister Reinfeldt feels about Saab and vote accordingly to elect politicians who value the Swedish auto industry.

Full English translation after the break.

Read moreRobert Collin Calls Out Reinfeldt

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