Rabbit. Hat.

If this whole making cars thing doesn't pan out, Victor Muller and his team at Swedish Automobile N.V. would appear to have an excellent career in magic ahead of them. The executives behind troubled automaker Saab have earned the right to reorganize under government protection thanks to a ruling by the Court of Appeal in Gothenburg, Sweden. This, after being denied the same privilege by the District Court in Vänersborg on September 8.

The Swedish government's voluntary reorganization approval suggests that Saab representatives were able provide blueprints for the automaker that demonstrate a reasonable chance for future financial success. Saab has been waiting for the release of promised monies from Chinese automakers Pang Da and Youngman (deals hung-up pending approval by the Chinese government), and other parties have also expressed interest in supporting the marque. Saab insists it is merely looking for short-term funding and legal protection because it has longer-term financial partners and a business plan already lined up.

As a result of the new ruling, Saab will now have at least three months to undergo reorganization, though that deadline can be extended by the government if the court feels that reasonable headway is being made. During that three-month period, the Swedish government agrees to pay the wages of Saab employees.

As a result of this court victory, Muller and Swedish Automobile are also requesting the cancellation of bankruptcy filings by several of its unions. Follow the jump to read Saab's official statement.

Show full PR text
SAAB AUTOMOBILE VOLUNTARY REORGANIZATION FILING APPROVED

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 21 September 2011 - Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) announces that Saab Automobile AB and its subsidiaries Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB (collectively Saab Automobile) received approval for their proposal for voluntary reorganization from the Court of Appeal in Gothenburg, Sweden today. The purpose of the voluntary reorganization process is to secure short-term stability while simultaneously attracting additional funding, pending the inflow of the equity contributions by Pang Da and Youngman.

The Swedish Company Reorganization Act says that an application shall not be approved unless there is reasonable cause to assume that the purpose of the reorganization will be achieved. In today's decision, the Court of Appeal has found that such conditions exist, thereby overturning an earlier ruling by the District Court in Vänersborg, Sweden.

As a consequence of the Court of Appeal ruling, Saab Automobile will request for the bankruptcy filings by unions IF Metall, Unionen and Ledarna to be cancelled.


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  • 20 Comments
      Quixcube
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saab has a lot of experience and engineering expertise in turbocharging small engines. That seems t be the direction things are going in the non-electric world. That has value. They would be a good acquisition for any number of companies for that alone. They also have a mysterious but recognized name/brand. I don't know if they will ever be competitive with German cars, but they don't really need to be as long as they are bankrolled by some sugar-daddy with deep pockets. Why would anyone do that? Because China is a game changer, and it is not too late to create prestige brands in China. Youngman and Pnag Da want the Saab brand to be big in China, and they might just have the clout to make that happen. Saab might live on as a Halo brand funded by mainstream sales of a joint-venture car company with the Chinese. It's like what GM wanted (Chevy sales offset Saab costs, but Saab is on all the adverts), but with better management.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      YES! Saab, you live to see another day, and hopes of my new 9-5 SportCombi are still alive! Can't wait till you bring it here
      Johan Knape
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wonderful !
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      YES! This is great news this morning. I just saw a new 9-4X in town the other day, and it really stood out from the crowd. The same thing with Saab's new 9-5. The styles, developed at GM, are so distinctive. I REALLY hope this new management can make this 3d-4th chance work.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
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        Rob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        Both are good looking cars but the prices Saab asks for will not attract new buyers ( only die hard Saab lovers) Saab is not going to compete with the premium german cars or Lexus and Infiniti for a long time to come so price the cars realisticly, and lower the stratospheric cost for parts and labor so they will have a shot. Close to 50k for the loaded high end 9.5?... not getting new buyers.
      Engine Knight
      • 3 Years Ago
      im glad this is happening...i know saab is in the pits now but they have a lot of potential...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Engine Knight
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      Xedicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Currently the competition in the automotive world is absolutely brutal, and SAAB doesn't play in any part of the auto industry that isn't utterly crammed with great offerings from other companies such as mid size sedans and SUVs. I just can't see SAAB creating something good enough on their zero dollar budget that will sell well enough to stabilize the company. I don't want to see SAAB go down, but they need a royal flush up their sleeve rather than just an Ace if they're going to survive. Here's to hoping!
      Harley
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's been my view for some years now that Saab is dead in the water, and I believe that the latest decision by the Court of Appeal will achieve little other than to prolong the company's agony. Saab's product quality seemed to begin to suffer around 10 years ago, with poor overall reliability having been consistently reflected in the various car reliability surveys since then. Whether or not this has been due to the lack of confidence of the workforce, the company has undergone so much change and uncertainty that one can hardly blame the workforce for perhaps not having the commitment and enthusiasm they may have once had when their own future looked more promising. Seriously, with a reliability rating so consistently low, and product depreciation so high, and for so long, how many folk are really going to consider buying a new Saab today? And there's the point. Muller needs customers. But are there really any left? Maybe he's just hanging on, hoping for the Chinese to cough up and buy all the assets. Even then, it's been rumoured that the Chinese may just ship all the assets over to China and start up production over there. If that happens the only future for Saab's workforce is redundancy, whilst Mr Muller presumably retires with a nice healthy handshake. Saab, as we all once knew and loved it, disappeared many years ago. And as much as I'd personally like to see that good old quirky and unique product brought up to date and put back on the shelves, I believe that any such vision is a pipedream, and the chances of Saab surviving all this must be virtually zero. All of which merely serves to prolong the agony of a long-suffering workforce. For that reason, I think it's a great shame that the Appeal Court did not uphold the Vänersborg Court decision and allow those who are owed so much money to file for bankruptcy and register their claim for what they are owed. Saab’s failure is inevitable, and I doubt the company will make it half way through next year. But after so much struggling for so long, isn't it finally time for somebody to put it out of its misery?
      • 3 Years Ago
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      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      So does this 3-mth time period where the Gov't pays the wages start now (with Saab still on the line for lost wages in August and half of Sept), or is it retroactive to when the pay first stopped?
      Peter Brady
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Saab does not change from "The Thinking Man's Car" into "The Driving Man's Car" then ultimately it will fail again. Every review I have read regarding Saab's is that they are good cars, not great cars, and for the money there are better options out there...over and over. Yes, Saab does have it's niche of followers, but this small band is not enough to keep a company going. It's OK to retain quirkiness, but now is the time for SAAB to grow a GIANT pair of Swedish meatballs. More power, better handling, and NO Turbo Lag( this SAAB feature should not deemed quirky, but embarrassing). When it's time for change you've got to rearrange.
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