Europe's automotive supplier body CLEPA, is urging Saab receivers not to sell off the bankrupt automaker piecemeal in order to pay a vast army of lawyers.

A massive 55-strong team of lawyers is handling up to five bids for Saab, with the process costing a significant amount of money for which the administrators are liable.

"I hope the administrators don't sell things in order to get money," CELPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto. "There are 55 lawyers engaged every day - we are talking about a lot of money - it is huge."

The CLEPA chief also expressed reservations concerning the lawyers' automotive knowledge as they wrestle with bids from potential purchasers, Youngman and Brightwell Holdings, as well as Mahindra & Mahindra.

"To sit there and judge what Youngman can and cannot do and to answer Youngman's questions - the administrators are lawyers - they are not businesspeople not ex-Ford or Volvo," said Holmqvist.

"I know that due to the cost, they only have one source of income, to sell assets. What I heard was they have enough money in the kitty, having sold some cars, to run it [Saab] until the end of this week (3 February). After that, they need to realise some assets."

Holmqvist also highlighted the Swedish government, which has now become Saab's largest creditor following the return of the US$324m loan it guranteed from the European Investment Bank to the Luxembourg organisation.

Government body, the Swedish National Debt Office, has pledges in Saab Parts and Saab Tools, but has expressed the wish for the automaker to be sold as a whole and not separately.

"They [government] shy way from this whole thing," said Holmqvist. "They are afraid of it like a hot iron and don't want to touch it. If they get their money back and there are no jobs at Saab, that money you get back you soon have to fork out in terms of unemployment benefit."

Receivers Wistrand and Delphi insist they will not comment on bids for Saab, citing the "highly complex sales situation" with which they have to deal.

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