When Spyker purchased Saab, fans hoped its days of enduring bad coverage over finances would be over. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it is happening. Despite introducing new models and increasing sales across the globe (recovering from 2009’s pitifully low levels), Saab is experiencing difficulties with its cash situation.
After a nearly 40 year stint at the company, Saab’s Chief Executive Officer Jan Ake Jonsson recently resigned, citing “three demanding years.” While resigning, he said he remains “convinced that Saab Automobile is on the right track.” An all-new 9-3 is said to be arriving next year.
Production in Trollhattan has been idled again today after a similar idling of the plant that took place last week. The situation stems from Saab’s inability to pay suppliers. The company is reportedly looking for more liquidity, and is signing on a Russian investor to infuse cash into the company.
Yesterday, chairman and interim CEO Victor Muller meant to calm nerves: “This is an ongoing thing. It will take some time to get everyone back in line properly. We will get it under control.”
Somehow that isn’t too confidence-inspiring. Having problems with liquidity this early into Spyker’s ownership is troubling, as they were expected to have enough cash to ride out difficult circumstances until sales could increase to break-even levels.
The difficulty of running a business like Saab in current market conditions cannot be overstated. Also, in 20 years of General Motors ownership the automaker never turned a profit. With that history, suddenly turning one in just a year seems unrealistic. Hopefully Saab can defy the odds and get the situation under control.