Saab historical vehicles earmarked, but safe

I went to the Saab Museum this morning to take a look at some recent additions. The recent additions are not vehicles, but little stickers applied to the vehicles that were already there.

Click to enlarge

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Utmätt Gods translates to ‘goods sequestered for debt’ and the little stickers were applied to the collection by Kronofogden, the debt enforcement agency here in Sweden. As you can see above, the Aero-X has one. The Sonett and Saab 9-X Air both have one, too. Even UrSaab has one.

The labels were applied earlier this week, no doubt timed to precede our reorganisation decision. It’s Kronofogden’s way of claiming these vehicles as part of a group of assets earmarked for sale in order to pay debts that some of our creditors have asked Kronofogden to collect. I know that’s a shocking statement if you’re a Saab fan, but please relax and keep reading.

The decision yesterday to grant us reorganisation status means that no further action can be taken by Kronofogden right now, in respect of these vehicles. However, should our reorganisation fail, then the vehicles resume their place amongst the assets that Kronofogden would seek to liquidate in order to collect amounts owing to some creditors.

So, the vehicles are protected at the moment and of course, Saab will seek to repay all outstanding amounts (including those submitted to Kronofogden) and when that happens, the little stickers will be removed and so will any lien hanging over the vehicles.

It’s not a nice part of our current story, but it’s a part of it nonetheless and one that we will do everything to ensure is wound up with a happy ending, as soon as possible.

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24 Comments

  1. I read an article about the Saab museum and the city of Trollhattan where they mentioned the city would be interested in purchasing the entire museum in case something bad happens to Saab.  It would be such a shame if this magnificent collection would be broken up and sold for not much money.

  2. [gulp…]

    Mr. Bäckström and his collection should be transferred to the custodianship of Trollhättan Municipality to keep it public and to avert (heaven forbid) any future threats to the integrity of this unspeakably important collection.  Those cars need to remain in one collection together under one roof – in Trollhättan, where it belongs.

    That said, I continue to have faith that my favorite automaker will be back online soon and will be building great cars long into the future – make room in the bilmusuem for all those future models!! 

  3. We at SaabsUnited were in serious talks about starting a foundation to collect money and to buy as many cars as possible since is probably impossible for the City of Trollhättan to buy all the cars, if not many at all…

    If people still thinks this is a good idea we can go ahead with it! It will require a lot of work but it will be worth it!

    1. My thought was not necessarily a purchase of individual exhibits, but a transfer of ownership of the entire museum from Saab Automobile AB to Trollhättan Municipality for the consideration of a token sum.  The only change would be in ownership – everything else remains the same (location, management, etc.).  Maybe not possible, but just a thought.

      Again – I have faith that my favorite automaker will be back online soon and will be building great cars long into the future – make room in the bilmusuem for all those future models!! I prefer that Saab remains the owner of the museum.

      1. I’d imagine as in most European countries it would be illegal to transfer ownership of an asset to avoid debt liability, within a 5 yr period preceding court action. It’s stops people transfering assets for nominal sums to avoid losing them in bankruptcy.

      2. I would say it’s highly unlikely that the enforcement agency would ever get hold of these cars, as there are in practice only two way to exit a reconstruction: Either the debt is settled (problem solved) or bankruptcy (executor sells assets, in part or held together, to preserve as much value as possible, which means that other solutions than selling individual items are possible). And lets hope for the former solution, but even in the latter scenario buying out the whole museum will be possible.

  4. Here’s my idea.

    1. Remove the piece of glass the decal is affixed to, and move the rest of the cars to a safe place.
    2. I’m confident that there will come a time when we can all laugh about this, and the decals will become something of a fashion statement for Saabists.  I bet we’ll see “Utmätt Gods” decals (faux, of course) on road-going Saabs, T-shirts, and even as tattoos all over the world.

    Not the time to panic.

  5. Just horrible to see, and read! 🙁 My heart nearly stopped for a moment until I realized that the cars are still at the museum, safe for the moment. For all that is holy, there must be some way to safeguard these cars if all goes bad (which it wont!!)? I know that kronofogden has to do their job, but who could actually stomach taking these pieces of automotive history and selling them? Its unheard of!

  6. These cars only have value to true Saab enthusiasts and have pretty much no value for the average car collector or investor.  How much money would they get out of the collection when they auction it off? Perhaps EUR 100K-200K?  That’s just a tiny drop in the bucket of many millions.  I think Kronofogden just wanted to set an example and an action like this has the most exposure.

    1. They said on TV4 that the value due to the Kronofogde is about 500000 euro, 5 miljoner kronor. It seems like the habitants in Trollhättan think it’s important to keep the museum, as what they say on the radio this morning. Åkerlund, “chief of the city”, says that Trollhättan can buy it but they don’t think they have the money for the running costs.

  7. Very sad to see this… Let’s dearly hope that Saab can pay the debts to Kronofogden during the reconstruction so that the cars never gets sold and these atrocious stickers can be removed!

  8. I was planning a short road trip up to Trollhättan some weekend (live in Stenungsund, south of Uddevalla), mainly to buy some new gear for the snowboard season, but were thinking of paying the Saab Museum a visit, too. Is it possible with the current situation, or do I have to wait and hope for happier times?

  9. SaabsUnited are planning to start a foundation to buy at least some of the cars, ideas are being discussed here: http://www.saabsunited.com/2011/09/buying-saab-museum-cars.html

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