The Swedish automaker Saab is in deep financial crisis and last week confirmed that it was unable to pay its workforce and most of its suppliers. The company, which is now owned by Swedish Automobile (previously known as Spyker), recently received an order of 582 units with a total value of 13 million euros from an undisclosed Chinese company. The order offers some reprieve, but the company’s financial woes are far from over and it remains on the verge of bankruptcy.
Saab plans to return to normal day-to-day activities at its Trollhattan production facility, which has been mothballed for two months as unpaid suppliers stopped delivering parts. "I am pleased to announce this agreement, as it secures part of the necessary short-term funding for Saab Automobile and allows us to pay our employees’ wages before the end of this month," said chief executive Victor Muller.
The company is scrambling for additional funds and is in talks with several parties on short-term funding. "We hope to secure additional short-term funding, necessary to reach agreement with all of our suppliers to restart production soon," Muller added. Saab also confirmed that Russian businessman and investor Vladimir Antonov was still interested in investing in the company, but that Saab was awaiting clearance for any potential investment from the Swedish National Debt office.
We suspect that numerous Chinese companies are also keeping a close eye on proceedings. Saab is a highly respected brand and its high-tech facilities in Europe remain an attractive proposition for any investor looking for access to technology sharing and a foothold in the European market.