A court hearing on Monday, December 19 will decide whether Saab remains shielded from creditor claims. If the judge decides to end the reorganization and make Saab face its investors, then Victor Muller and Co. will have a week or so to find an astronomical sum of cash if they want to keep the company operating. In the past week, Saab's administrator asked to step down but was forbidden to do so, Saab received a loan of $80 million from Chinese partner Youngman, and Muller continued discussions with Chinese banks for an $800 million loan.

What hasn't changed is General Motors' stance on the enterprise: it has consistently refused Saab's transfer into Chinese hands, and just two days before the court hearing, officials said the company remains opposed to the latest partnership structure that Muller has presented. Since Muller hasn't been able to create a package amenable to GM that involves Chinese concerns after six months of working on it, we don't know how long the Swedish court will continue to let him try.

The problem is that unless Muller can convince a company like Tata or Proton or Mahindra to come to the table, China is Muller's only apparent sovereign option, and General Motors is unwilling to share its technology, which Saab requires to stay afloat, with a Chinese operation outside GM's established joint venture with SAIC. And those other companies are buried in the work of repairing their own automotive acquisitions.

It's nearly inconceivable that another OEM would attempt to salvage the shipwreck that is Saab. It's hard to be optimistic about the situation.

Saab Information


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