SWEDEN: CLEPA slams General Motors for making "trouble" in Saab bankruptcy

By Simon Warburton | 19 December 2011

European supplier association CLEPA has launched a fierce attack on General Motors following the decision by Saab CEO Victor Muller to file for bankruptcy this morning (19 December).

CLEPA members now stand to lose up to EUR300m (US$391m), with the Swedish government, which underwrote a EUR270m European Investment Bank (EIB) loan, thought to be ahead in any claim for funds arising from attempts to recoup finance from the bankruptcy.

"It means we now have to write off all our debts and that means EUR150m," CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto from Sweden. "But if Saab does not restart we have to write off the rest as well - we are talking double.

"[Victor Muller] telephoned me and said GM has killed it - that is true. They have killed it and they managed to do that very effectively. By saying we won't support, we won't even help, they gave a clear indication to everybody involved they will make trouble."

Holmqvist even said the brand name of Saab did not belong to the company any more as the Swedish government now owned the bankruptcy as guarantors of the EIB loan.

The supplier chief had been on his way to Vanersborg to make an appearance at a hearing by the District Court to consider Saab's bankruptcy protection status, but events this morning have overtaken that move.

"It is a big loss and a sad day because a car company goes into the grave," he said. "From a European point of view, it will not be replaced by another European company.

"I am not disappointed with Youngman - they have been extremely brave going in without security."

Neither GM nor Saab were immediately available for comment, but it is thought all employees have been called to the Trollhattan factory for a meeting later today.