Industry Headlines

Saab Gets More Support from China

(Courtesy of Edmonds Auto Observer ) With some European industry sources late last week calling foundering Saab Automobile AB to declare itself bankrupt and workers unions threatening to force the company into insolvency, Saab today received an order from a Chinese source for more than 500 already-manufactured vehicles. The $18.5-million order reportedly will be enough to allow the company to pay its workers for June after it said last week it did not have enough cash on hand to meet its payroll.

But the chief executive of a supplier group said the gambit does little to stabilize the company’s finances and late last week, the head of CLEPA, Europe’s supplier trade association, challenged Saab to declare bankruptcy in order to secure for its employees the best Swedish unemployment package. Saab, owned by Netherlands-based Swedish Automobile NV, formerly Spyker Cars NV, is said to be continuing with attempts to not only secure a new drawback from a previously-arranged loan facility from the European Investment Bank but also to close deals with Chinese auto distributor Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. Ltd. and automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus that would allow the two companies to invest in and collectively own about 52 percent of Saab. Russian investor Vladimir Antonov reputedly also remains keen to purchase a portion of the company.

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