BELGIUM: Small suppliers could struggle if Saab goes bankrupt: CLEPA
Europe's supplier body CLEPA says some of its smaller members could struggle if Saab went bankrupt with speculation a decision could be taken tomorrow (15 November) concerning the automaker's voluntary reorganisation.
Coincidentally, that is the same date as a memorandum of understanding inked between Saab and its proposed Chinese investors, Youngman and Pang Da, is due to expire, although the Swedish automaker stressed earlier to just-auto this could be extended if all parties chose to do so.
"The reconstructer probably won't have a choice other than saying this is leading nowhere," CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto. "From what we have heard, it is tomorrow. It seems they are not going towards a solution that is acceptable to GM, which means Youngman will probably not pay any more money."
Saab only recently had its bankruptcy protection status maintained following a creditors meeting at which many of its suppliers, who are estimated to be owed around EUR150m (US$205m) attended. Further details concerning any payment schedule are are due to be outlined on 22 November.
"If there is bankruptcy, we lose all that is outstanding," said Holmqvist. "There are of course always bankruptcies, and there were some in 2009, but this is a carmaker so there [are] a lot of suppliers. "It is a decent amount of money - we deal with huge contracts but it is bad enough."
The CLEPA chief added some of his smaller members could struggle with those owed around EUR1m, for example, having to convince banks to provide loans. "There are members who will struggle, smaller members who are owed quite a lot," he said.
Saab's plans have been thrown into confusion by former owner General Motors' decision not to allow it to continue with existing technology licences or the supply of 9-4X vehicles if there was a change of control.
The Swedish automaker provided further information to GM regarding the proposed change of ownership last week, but it is not known what the US automaker's response has been.
GM has close ties with Chinese partner SAIC and appears unwilling to allow Saab to proceed with a new ownership structure that would see automaker Youngman acquire 60% and distributor Pang Da, 40%.
Saab was not avaialble to comment on any administrator developments.