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Three Former Saab Executives Face Fraud Charges

Ex-CEO among those under investigation.

by on May.21, 2013

Former Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson.

Three former Saab Automobile AB executives, including one-time CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, have been detained by Swedish authorities and could face charges involving tax and accounting fraud.

The unexpected development comes nearly 18 months after the long-struggling automaker filed for bankruptcy, most of its assets eventually sold to a Japanese-Chinese consortium. A $3 billion lawsuit filed by the Dutch company that purchased Saab from General Motors, meanwhile, has yet to be resolved.

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Ex-CEO Jonsson is one of three former executives who could face up to four years in prison based on the allegations raised in Vanersborg District Court which covers Saab’s former headquarters in Trollhattan, Sweden.

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Saab Story with a Happy Ending?

New owners hoping to get rights to Saab name.

by on Jun.12, 2012

There are many questions yet unanswered, including whether the new Saab owners will resume production at the Trollhattan assembly plant.

Those hoping to save insolvent Swedish automaker Saab have gotten some electrifying news.  The court administrators overseeing the company’s bankruptcy have given the green light to a Japanese-Chinese consortium that appears to focus on clean energy to buy the remaining Saab assets for a reported figure of around $250 million.

The one remaining obstacle is whether they will also get the right to the Saab name itself and the brand’s logo, which belong to defense firm Saab AB and truck manufacturer Scania AB.

What’s also uncertain is what the new owner, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB has in mind for Saab.  The firm was only recently registered in Sweden and is actually a joint venture owned by Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., with a 51% stake, and Japan’s Sun Investment LLC.

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The Chinese company has, until now, been focused on biomass power plants and related projects for China.  Japan’s Sun has been funding high-tech environmental and sustainable energy programs.  Neither firm appears to have any past connection to the auto industry.

Among the questions yet to be answered: (more…)

Saab Files For Bankruptcy

No options left, Muller pulls plug.

by on Dec.19, 2011

Image By: Len Katz

Saab Chairman Victor Muller expects to write down his investment in the company as it files for bankruptcy.

Having used up all its options, long-struggling Saab has filed for bankruptcy, ending a desperate bid for survival that began even before it was sold off by General Motors in early 2010.

Victor Muller, the Dutch entrepreneur whose small firm purchased Saab from GM personally appeared in the Vanersborg District Court, in southwestern Sweden, this morning to hand in the bankruptcy papers.  The move came days after Saab had won one last reprieve, the court firing the original administrator and giving the automaker a chance to come up with a workable deal with the Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus, which had offered to purchase Saab outright.

It is up to the courts to now decide what to do with Saab’s assets, and though there remains some hope they could be purchased in their entirety it is uncertain whether the now-bankrupt maker has much to offer anyone else in the industry.  While its headquarters factory in Trollhattan, Sweden is considered one of the Continent’s more modern there is already a glut of capacity and many manufacturers are looking ways to cut production rather than add to it.

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While Muller didn’t speak with the media, a statement from Saab suggested that General Motors was to blame for the company’s final collapse.  GM had notified Saab that it would not approve a sale to the Chinese.

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First Look: 2010 Saab 9-3X

Will now-bankrupt brand follow through with Geneva unveiling?

by on Feb.20, 2009

Will there be a Saab to build the 2010 9-3X?

Will there be a Saab to build the 2010 9-3X?

What was supposed to be a celebratory moment just might not happen at all. The 2009 Geneva Motor Show was supposed to bring the official unveiling of the new Saab 9-3X, but as a quick perusal of the headlines, here on TheDetroitBureau.com, will reveal, the Swedish subsidiary of troubled General Motors Corp. has just filed for bankruptcy. And it’s now anyone’s guess as to what that means, going forward.

For the moment, we’ll cautiously assume that Saab isn’t simply going to shut its doors and turn out the lights. And if it has any future, at all, it will likely follow through with the Geneva reveal.

What that would mean is the debut of a vehicle that, according to a Saab release, “was designed for people with active lifestyles who don’t want a large crossover or SUV.”

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