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Saab Shutdown Drags On, Threaten Brand’s Survival

Suppliers claim Swedish maker owes millions.

by on Apr.08, 2011

The Saab 9-5 Aero at the maker's plant in Trollhattan, which has been idled by suppliers demanding payment.

The shutdown of Saab’s main assembly plant, at its Trollhattan, Sweden headquarters, could drag on for some time as the maker struggles to raise additional cash to help cover what parts suppliers claim are millions of dollars in unpaid bills.

The maker’s parent, Dutch-based Spyker Cars, nonetheless insists that Saab is not nearing a collapse.  The maker only emerged for near-insolvency a year ago, after Spyker purchased the failing brand and its assets from General Motors.

A spokesperson for the automaker, based several hours from capital city Stockholm, said Saab officials are “working hard” to find a solution, but also warned “could” stretch on for several days.

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Following the Geneva Motor Show, in March, Saab Chairman Victor Muller stated the company still has about $200 million of the money left from a 2010 European Investment Bank loan.  But he also said Spyker would be seeking to raise additional capital as quickly as possible.

Saab was hit with a brief production halt last week when suppliers temporarily halted deliveries.  Saab appeared to have addressed that problem, but the confrontation resumed this week, and the latest production halt is now in its fourth day.

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Former Spyker Partner Cleared Of Corruption

Vladimir Antonov could now return to Saab-Spyker.

by on Dec.17, 2010

Former Spyker exec Vladimir Antonov is cleared of corruption charges and could now join Saab-Spyker.

Vladimir Antonov, Saab owner Victor Muller’s former business partner, has been cleared of the corruption charges that had forced him out of the bidding for the Swedish Automaker.

Swedish newspaper, Dagens Industri, has reported Antonov was cleared after a Swedish government investigation found no evidence of corruption involving the Russian businessman.

Antonov was a key backer of Muller and his Dutch-based sports car company, Spyker, and was planning to play a role in the purchase of Saab, which General Motors was going to sell or close after its 2009 bankruptcy.  But after questions arose about the Russian’s possible involvement with crime syndicates, Muller said General Motors forced him to abandon his established partnership with Antonov in order to complete his bid for Saab.

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A prerequisite for the deal was that Vladimir Antonov stepped down as Chairman and majority shareholder in Spyker due to allegations of illegal business and money laundering.

Based near Gothenberg, Saab was in the midst of shutting down when Muller – minus Antonov – was able to complete the acquisition, earlier this year.

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