It looks like Parisian electric-vehicle car-sharing service Autolib just got some more juice.
Things just got a little better for Better Place.
Way back at the beginning of Saab's struggle for life after General Motors, exotic car firm Spyker was granted a €400-million loan ($527M U.S.) from the European Investment Bank. The loan was approved after it was guaranteed by Sweden's Debt Office, and Saab's recent bankruptcy filing forced the Debt Office to back up the guarantee with a €217-million payment ($286M) to the EIB – the portion of the loan that Saab actually drew upon.
Keeping your staff happy is key to running a successful company. One of the main ways to do that is to pay them, which is an area in which Saab is once again experiencing a bit of trouble. Specifically, Saab cannot pay white-collar employees because committed funds have not yet been fully recovered by investors. The automaker's suppliers are looking to get paid as well, but there's just no money to do so at the moment.
Part of the Saab gambit for survival has been approved by the European Investment Bank. Saab's parent company, Swedish Automobile, has been requesting approval for a plan to sell part of the property that its factory sits on in Trollhättan to a group of real estate investors led by Hemfosa Fastigheter and then lease the land back. The transaction has been given final approval by not only the EIB, but also the Swedish government and the country's National Debt Office.
This is very bad. Remember the deal between Hawtai Motors and Saab? Collapsed. According to The Detroit News, the deal, which involved a 29.9 percent stake in Saab in exchange for $172 million, fell apart early Thursday morning. The problem was reportedly that Hawtai wasn't able to obtain all the stakeholder consent needed, forcing the Chinese automaker to terminate the pact. Saab and Hawtai are reportedly continuing to work on resurrecting a deal, but the Swedish automaker has said in a stateme
What a long, strange trip it's been. Every thriller must have an endgame, although whether the guy gets the girl in the end or just plain "gets it" is often in doubt right until the final frame. This afternoon, after a most improbable and tortured saga, General Motors has finally agreed to sell Saab to Spyker Cars.
2010 Saab 9-5 - Click above for high-res image gallery