• Mar 30, 2011
Yesterday, Saab was met with a slight production hiccup. The Swedish automaker's parent company Spyker Cars confirmed that production briefly ground to a halt at its Trolhättan assembly plant when a number of suppliers stopped the flow of parts due to non-payment of bills.
Saab says it "expects to resolve these issues in the short term," and workers resumed production this morning. Any cessation of production invariably costs an automaker big bucks, and even though the stoppage was very short in duration, its understandable that other suppliers and analysts might have the jitters about whether Saab's financial position is stable.

Given that Spyker recently sold its own automotive unit to CPP, Saab should have enough cash on hand to pay the bills, although the automaker itself announced a nearly $200 million loss from last year. Follow the jump for the official announcement.

*UPDATE: Automotive News reports that Saab's factory was idled for a second time on Wednesday, but the company vows to once again fire up the lines on Thursday, having remedied delivery and payment schedules with one of its suppliers.

[Sources : Spyker/Saab, Automotive News – sub. req.]
Show full PR text

STATEMENT ON SAAB AUTOMOBILE PRODUCTION

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 30 March 2011 - Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) announces that after a short production stop at Saab Automobile yesterday afternoon, this morning production re-started again.

Certain suppliers halted supplies to Saab Automobile pending discussions about payments and supply terms. Saab Automobile expects to resolve these issues in the short term, also to prevent any further disruptions in supply. Saab Automobile has sufficient means to meet its immediate liquidity needs from existing and available sources. In addition, Saab Automobile continues to work on longer term solutions to further strengthen its financial position and improve its capital structure.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      This isn't really as embarrassing as when they sold a whopping 2 units in Canada in February. Oh, wait...
        • 3 Years Ago
        The only things from Canada that i care about are Beer and Hockey, i'm ok with them only selling 2 cars there, they sold many more elsewhere. Nothing against our neighbors to the North, just don't care.
        • 3 Years Ago
        So you're telling us that 100% of the people in Canada bought a Saab? Sweet! ;)
        • 3 Years Ago
        We love Canada so please keep them out of it.

        Muller stated "we (Saab) didn't need one new customer" meaning if old Saab customers came back to the brand they can make it.

        Well the old (and new) customers haven't materialized because few people (outside of Autoblog and SaabsUnited readership) know the brand is still in business.

        Time to distribute "Сохранить Saab снова" buttons.




      • 3 Years Ago
      Cmon, Spyker, keep those bills paid. This is all to reminiscent of GM's issues before they filed. We're all rootin' for ya!
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should have avoided this publicity. Apparently they weren't able to. It's an ominous sign.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't think they knew it was coming. From their standpoint they were paying suppliers as they have for years. This is a case of one creditor (their transporter) taking advantage of the situation created by the announcement of their CEO's retirement (and the hysteria it created within the local media), to try to get paid faster. It's all rather silly that the Swedish press jumped all over it, considering there have been similar production stops already this year that weren't reported on, and in fact other manufacturers like Toyota and Ford have production stops due to just-in-time deliveries being behind. I have to hand it to the supplier, their tactic worked and they're getting paid quicker, so good for them. But if I were Saab, I'd be looking for a new transport partner.

        Bottom line, the slow production ramp up last year negatively affected Spyker's bottom line in 2010, and they continually revised guidance to reflect it. This year, they're much more aware of achievable sales targets and are selling in line with expectations. With the new 9-4x sales starting up this spring, a sub-119g/km diesel 9-3 for sale in Europe, and the new 9-5 wagon for Northern Europe, they'll reach break even much faster. Keep in mind they only need to sell 85,000 units to reach that point, after that they're profitable. All along they haven't forecasted that moment to come until 2012, so while they're a little delayed, they're still very close to their original business plan. With Antonov joining up, cash flow should be the least of their worries. Negative publicity on the other hand...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well things aren't as straightforward as AB puts them. After production resumed again earlier today, it has stopped again a few hours ago. This again due to parts suppliers not having been payed.

      Before you all go: See I knew, there's no money left and this is the beginning of the end, rest assured you are mistaken. Here's what's going on: A few years ago Saab has had to adapt their financial system to integrate it with GM Europe's general financial center in Barcelona. After Spyker bought it, they had to move it back to Sweden and make their own financial system. It seems it still has a few glitches and bugs in it, resulting in certain suppliers not having been payed in time although they do have financial means to do it easily.

      Also, Vladimir Antonov announced today he wants to invest in Saab and has filed an application to do so. He will provide immediate financial support and will supposedly also provide the funding needed to develop the much rumored 'small Saab', the 92. Interesting developments.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seems a bit silly to report on a less than one day stoppage. When they have to shut production down for more than a week, then we got a problem. I worked in credit for a few years and it wasnt uncommon to turn off a large account over a past due balance, only to end up opening it after a simple call from the customer (with an explanation of their tardiness)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Come on Mr. Muller, a lot of us are still pulling for you.