SWEDEN: Saab communication "a catastrophe": FKG
Saab's communication during the current production crisis has been branded a "catastrophe" by the Scandinavian automotive suppliers association, FKG.
The automaker is yet again at a standstill today (19 April), with unconfirmed reports from the FKG also indicating the Swedish government has approved the sale of Saab's Trollhattan property to Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov.
"Saab's way of communicating is a catastrophe," FKG managing director Sven-Ake Berglie told just-auto from Sweden. "They must have seen this coming up before in December already, but they did not say anything.
"When the suppliers did not get paid, Saab said it was a few [of them] and it was due to the [fact] the suppliers wanted improved payment terms, which was a complete lie."
The FKG chief also said Antonov's purchase of the Trollhattan facility was subject to some restrictions such as payment being made through a European bank not connected to the buyer. Antonov is the main shareholder and chairman of Bankas Snoras in Lithuania.
"It is not though yet because the European Investment Bank also has to approve the whole thing, it will probably do that today," said Berglie.
"I guess Saab has already started negotiations with the suppliers. But I don't think any suppliers will start supplying cars before they have a kind of plan for how payments will be made."
Estimates have been made of EUR30m (US$42.8m) being the price for Saab's property, but the Scandinavian suppliers boss insisted the automaker would need "significantly more capital."
Neither Saab nor Vladimir Antonov were immediately available for comment.