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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.

Production at Saab's Trollhättan, Sweden plant has been shut down for weeks due, as these things often are, to a lack of cash needed to pay suppliers. That should change in the next week, though, as Saab parent Spyker has announced that it has secured a convertible loan agreement with Gemini Investment Fund Limited worth 30 million euros.

The Saab Shutdown of 2011 grinds on, with uncertain finances threatening to silence the operation for good. Even though Spyker took on the ailing brand, former owner General Motors is still the key to Saab surviving, The New York Times reports. Saab's Trollhättan plant ground to a halt in early April, and part of owner Spyker's plan to infuse working capital includes selling the plant and other real estate holdings to Vladimir A. Antonov and then leasing the property back from him. Antonov

It looks like Volvo and Saab won't be teaming up to create one Swedish carmaker to rule them all. According to Reuters, Volvo has made it clear that the company has had no talks with Saab about buying the besieged automaker and that none are scheduled to take place. The Swedish newspaper De Telegraf had previously reported that the Swedish government was urging Volvo into talks with Saab about a potential takeover. The move would mean that a government loan previously granted to Saab by the Euro

The last few weeks haven't been easy for Saab, as the Swedish automaker has had to stop production twice due to supplier issues. Not just any problems, either, as the suppliers wanted to get paid, and Saab simply didn't have the cash. That led to widespread speculation that the automaker was destined to shutter only a year after Spyker purchased the company from General Motors.

2011 Volvo S60 - Click above for high-res image gallery

The European Investment Bank has approved €866 million ($1.14 billion U.S.) in loans to automakers to fund the development of greener cars. Two thirds of the funds for the new loans come from the European Economic Recovery Package and are targeted at helping to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Of the total awarded last week, €400 million will go to Nissan's European operations for the development and manufacturing of more efficient vehicles at the company