SWEDEN: Saab confident it will survive as Debt Office mulls Antonov
Saab insists it is confident it will survive as mystery continues to surround any potential investment by Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov into the troubled automaker that continued its production halt today (7 April).
Antonov has said he wanted to invest US$71m in Saab and acquire a 30% stake, but any change in ownership structure has to undergo a complex series of approvals from Sweden's National Debt Office, the Swedish government and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
"There are several things cooking, I can't go into any details," a Swedish National Debt Office spokeswoman in Stockholm told just-auto. "We are working on the Antonov proposal.
"We said a week ago it will take a few weeks and it will take some time - we are looking at several things."
Saab was forced to halt production again today as it looks to sort out its supplier arrangements and says it will have to stop manufacture again tomorrow.
Apart from some essential maintenance workers, Saab has sent about 1,200 employees at its Trollhattan factory home using what the manufacturer describes as "flexible" working systems.
"I am confident absolutely we will survive," a Saab spokesman in Sweden told just-auto. "This is a hiccup we did not want but four weeks ago we stood in the Geneva [show] and no questions were asked about Saab's viability.
"This does not really help, we know that. We expect to resume production at the beginning of next week."
The head of Scandinavia's automotive suppliers association (FKG) Sven-Ake Berglie confirmed to just-auto today some of its members had not been paid, but added he was confident Saab would resolve the issue.