Saab Setback: Chinese Funding Delayed

Saab’s problems are truly endless. You know the story by now: countless near-death experiences, only for management to pull another trick out of their hat to save the company. The latest event in this made-for-TV drama unfolded when Saab filed for restructuring last month. Similar to our bankruptcy, Swedish law allows for companies to voluntarily reorganize during a period where the government will pay worker salaries. For Saab, which was unable to pay employees, this was particularly attractive. At first Saab’s request was rejected, but then it got overturned by a Swedish court. The ruling was based on a judge’s evaluation of whether or not Saab’s business plan was viable. Saab’s pitch to the court centered on the Chinese funding its secured from distributor Pang Da and manufacturer Youngman Automotive.

The companies mentioned, in cooperation with Saab, signed deals in July to set up manufacturing and sales joint ventures. They were to provide medium and long term funding in exchange for a stake in Saab. Reuters is reporting the bridge money during the reorganization period has been delayed. Saab spokesman Eric Geers had this to say about the delay: “The money has not come in yet…..we originally thought it would take about two weeks. The process is ongoing, and we will give information as soon as we have the money….it is hard to say when it will be finished, but it will be soon.”

That isn’t exactly reassuring. Saab is counting on this installment of $96 million to help get it through the three month bankruptcy process. In addition, the sale of Saab’s Spyker business has a few hangups before it can be completed. Once the money arrives though, it will be a much-needed boost. The question is how long can Saab survive without the Chinse funding? Delay is never a good sign. As always, stay tuned.

Tony Pimpo

Tony Pimpo

Automotive Editor
Tony Pimpo is a young automotive journalist who lives in Northern California. He believes the future of the automotive industry will depend in a large part on the recommendation of enthusiasts and Generation Y. More than ever, automakers lately have realized the power of Gen Y. Not only in regards to buying power, but in driving opinion and spreading a brand’s message through the internet and various forms of social media. His appreciation for cars formed at an early age, thanks to his dad, who has always been involved with cars in different ways over the years. Tony has contributed to various websites in his pursuits, and is on staff at GMInsideNews, where he has been writing since the age of 12.
Tony Pimpo
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