I know, as this is typed that I will incur the wrath of many SAAB devotees. That is fine, we are all entitled to our opinion. I am just using this blog to air mine...which is that without huge cash reserves and a massive R&D effort backed by reliable production and delivery, no car company...especially a small one can expect to survive in the harsh world of modern auto retailing.
I do not wish foreclosure on any free enterprise offering, but there are times when the business model is just so wrong that too watch continual difficulty is beyond reason. To understand the sorry SAAB saga, one has to know a little automotive history...so in brief.
Mayhem in May and Chinese Connections...
Nothing stays calm for long at SAAB as by 26th July the groups had to admit they were unable to pay the July salaries to the white collar employees who numbered 1600. There was no indication of when they would receive payment. The next day the trade union Unionen demanded payment to the white collar staff inside 2 weeks or else they would force liquidation. Payment finally happened on 5th August.
Today....the end is neigh...
SAAB is filing for bankruptcy protection in a self-managed reconstruction process, owner Swedish Automobil NV said. SAAB is to file for voluntary reorganization with the Vanersborg district court Wednesday and the application relates to Saab Automobile AB and its subsidiaries Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB but excludes Saab Automobile Parts AB and overseas subsidiaries.
Swedish Automobile said the reason for the proposed reorganization was to secure short-term stability while SAAB waits for additional funding. SAAB Automobile has a reorganization plan, that will slash the cost base, that will be presented to its creditors in more detail within 3 weeks of the filing.
Parent company Swedish Automobile made a net loss of €224m in the 6 months to 30th June, compared with €56m a year earlier.
How much longer does this crazy situation go on for? This year the losses have widened substantially. No clear place in the market, ferocious competition from rivals with deep pockets and sales that fail to impress as models cannot be delivered. The ongoing lurch from one crisis to another amid continued struggles to secure its future tell me SAAB just ran the red light.
Stephen Pope ~ MarketMind