Want an idea of what it’s like working at Saab Automobile right now?
- Last week we had a failed application for reorganisation of the company. Downer.
- Late in the week, we galvanised and employees heard that the executive team would spend the weekend preparing an appeal. Steady.
- This morning we announced a licensing and bridge finance deal. Upper.
- And then this afternoon comes news that two of our employee unions have filed for bankruptcy. Downer.
That’s the rollercoaster we’re on at the moment. They say a week is a long time in politics. A single day can be a long time at Saab. If you’re along for the ride – and I know there are a lot of people along for the ride with us – here’s the Swade guide to reading what’s going on in a few key areas right now.
Our appeal with the Swedish courts has been lodged in Vanersborg and will be on its way from there to Gothenburg this afternoon. We have taken steps to beef up the initial application and some of those steps are now public knowledge.
We’ve provided some more insight into ‘the China process’, for example, which should hopefully give people a better ideas as to why we have a lot of confidence in our arrangements in China.
We’ve also signed an agreement this morning that will provide bridge financing through licensing (not all-out selling) of our Phoenix platform technology.
The rejection of our initial application for reorganisation last week was certainly a surprise and a blow for Saab. However, as Victor Muller pointed out last week, our executive team were ‘throwing the kitchen sink’ into our appeal to ensure that any lack of information noted in the judgement would be addressed.
These are unfortunate headlines, however when reading them one should bear the timeline for these competing processes in mind. The unions need to act on behalf of their members, so a filing like this is not a complete surprise. However, should Saab’s appeal be a successful one and we are granted reorganisation, the bankruptcy filing would effectively be rendered moot.
We expect a response to our appeal some time later this week, whereas it’s my understanding that the bankruptcy filing would take several weeks to get a verdict. The unions know this, too, but they have an interest in acting for their members and securing payments as early as possible if the worst happens, which is a fair thing to do.
Can we predict it with any certainty? Of course not. This is has been a story with more twists than Chubby Checker.
- We have strong partners on our side and their applications for approvals in China are progressing well. Today’s bridge finance agreement could be taken as a sign of the faith that Youngman place in the future of this company, and the things that they, we and Pang Da believe we can do together.
- We have a strong portfolio of Saab vehicles. That’s the reason we’re here in the first place – and it’s only getting better.
If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you read my series from last weekend, entitled In Saab’s Corner. It takes you through some of the things we’ve got going on right now and I think you’ll find it to be encouraging reading.
Our self-belief and determination isn’t a measure of cockiness. We couldn’t be more humbled than what we are right now and we know that we have a lot of business to take care of when everything gets rolling.
Rather, our self-belief and determination are a measure of the faith we have in the preparations that we’ve made, and in the plans that we have for the future. We can do this. We can get this done. We just want the chance to do so.