SWEDEN: Saab pulls out of Frankfurt as supplier debt takes centre stage
Saab has withdrawn from this year's IAA show in Frankfurt as Sweden's debt enforcement agency looks to have part of the automaker's substantial supplier debt settled today (17 August).
The manufacturer's decision to pull out of the German showcase reflects the seriousness of its financial situation as suppliers Kongsberg Automotive and consultants Infotiv seek SEK4m (US$625,000) through the auspices of Sweden's Kronofogden debt enforcement agency.
"We are not going to Frankfurt this year - all resources have to to be prioritised getting production going again," a Saab spokeswoman in Sweden told just-auto.
"It is a difficult decision to take, but it is absolutely the right decision. We have to focus on getting production going."
Should Saab's initial debts not be paid - and there are many others that could see the bill rise to SEK42m within weeks - Kronofogden says it could freeze Saab's current account today.
That could potentially lead to suppliers going to Court, with a spokesman for the debt recovery agency telling just-auto it could be a "very fast process" to bankruptcy.
"We are well aware of all of the issues in the cases Kronofogden has and the deadlines for each," said the Saab spokeswoman.
"We are in dialogue with Kronofogden. There are people at Saab in responsible positions to deal with this who know exactly what the situation is."
Saab is juggling a series of complicated investment proposals, while also attempting to placate suppliers and its unions, who met CEO Victor Muller last week with concerns about whether or not August wages would be paid.