Today at Saab Automobile – reorganisation announcement

Saab Automobile lodged an application for reorganisation today. A decision on this application is still pending as I write this. If granted, the reorganisation process will allow us court protection from creditors’ actions whilst we continue making the financial arrangements we need to carry us into our long-term deals with partners from China.

As you might imagine, it was a pretty busy day here today. I am preparing some text on the reorganisation process, some plain-speak on what it will mean for Saab and our stakeholders, but that will have to wait until the court’s decision is announced.

For now, I thought you might be interested in a first-hand view of some of the things that happened here today.

We started the day with a meeting around 9am to take the marketing, sales and aftersales teams through the press release and associated points about the actions taken today. The meeting was led by Matthias Siedl and Knut Simonsson, our global sales and marketing chiefs.

Following this, there was a presentation by Victor Muller to the full workforce at Saab inside the factory in Trollhattan.

Victor spoke about all manner of things regarding the current situation and introduced Mr Guy Lofalk, the administrator nominated by Saab to take charge of the reorganisation process. Mr Lofalk also oversaw the previous reorganisation when Saab was owned by General Motors in 2009.

Victor Muller explained the road that Saab had taken over the last few months and included his personal apologies for the current delays in wage/salary payments, explaining that the filing today would help staff to get paid sooner, whilst providing a more stable and certain environment for Saab to pursue their funding requirements.

Staff were offered the opportunity to ask questions a small number of them took this opportunity before the meeting dispersed.

L to R: Guy Lofalk, Kristina Geers and Victor Muller

Saab expected a decision from the court in Vanersborg at 2pm, however the decision has been delayed and is now expected at 2pm Thursday. A press conference scheduled for 2:30pm still went ahead and was well attended. You can see a recording of the press conference, recorded by Saabs United here.

Victor Muller spoke to the gathered press as a group before taking questions, and then stopping for individual interviews.

——

As mentioned earlier, I’ll have a few more thoughts to share on the reorganisation meaning and implications but that will have to wait until we have received a decision from the court, due around 2pm tomorrow, Swedish time.

You may also like

15 Comments

  1. Steve. Are you more or less confident after meeting and listening to Victor today. I guess it all comes down to the result from Tingsrätten tomorrow , but what is your feeling?

  2. Great coverage.   While I understood the positive potential of the reorganization as outlined in the press release, this coverage of the breaking news from Trollhattan certainly helps keep us emotionally closer to what’s happening and that is a very good thing!   I look forward to your thoughts upon the court’s decision. 

  3. Good luck to everyone in Trollhattan today.  Swade, you and your collegues make wonderful cars. I hope you can figure all of this out and get back to what you do best. I’ll be cruising in the 9-5 tonight to spread good SAAB karma!

    Asher

  4. Watching the recording of the press conference left me very impressed, once again, with the composure of Victor Muller. I’m keeping my fingers crossed like everyone else, but I’m feeling optimistic. I take seeing a beautiful electric blue 9-3 convertible parking near me at Home Depot yesterday as a positive sign. 🙂

  5. My question is, what will happen if the court denies Saab’s request for reorganization?  Does this mean automatic bankruptcy?  What are the ramifications of a disapproval?

    1. Curt, it’s not an automatic bankruptcy, I can tell you that much.

      As VM said in the press conference, then we go to ‘Plan C’.  But right now our energy is on this, not the possibility of what might or might not happen otherwise.  We’re quite confident in our application to the court.  

  6. I do like the way all the new SAABs  drive and the look of the car , we used to think how great the 99T was  , now it’s the 9-3 X drive car what a great car to drive . Bjorn Enval was the designer at a time for SAAB now it’s Jason I want to see what is next for SAAB in the best way .  Thanks to all the factory people who build these cars you do great work .
    I’m hoping you continue to build on what is a Great brand . I’m sure at this time it’s hard to look to the future of SAAB

  7. I’m satisfied that Victor Muller is doing everything possible to keep Saab producing cars. It’s sad that the Swedish Government has not stepped in to help Saab like the US Government did for GM and it is now up to the Chinese Government to do the job. 

    Thinking about the US market, clearly some of the US Saab sales were to GM employees and family members. Most of those sales are never coming back to Saab.

    Just part of the Chinese Buick market would have been enough for Saab to stay out of it’s current financial troubles. The Chinese saved Buick. It’s time for them to save Saab, too.

    Just a thought.

  8. I’ll admit that I am a few pixels short of a SID when it comes to Saab, but Saab has too much going for it now to not prevail.  We will look back on this and see it as just another step in the process toward Saab’s successful rebirth.

  9. I hope it turns out well and I hope all of the Swedish Saab employees can get their pay, and keep their jobs.  They should be proud of what they do, but pride won’t necessarily pay the mortgage.

    Saab should become better and better as they squeeze the GM out of the design (I’m dealing with the headaches of GM parts in my own Saab now) but I have to say that I Saab could well have been dead years ago without GM, so it’s a double-edged sword to be sure.

    With Chinese and Russian deals Saab should be in good shape but they just need to get there – build some cars – and I wish someone could step up and help in the short term to keep the brand alive.  If I could, I would.  In the meantime I watch the blog and hope for the best.

    I want to buy a new 9-5 Combi in a few years (have an ’09 9-3 Aero Combi now so I’m not due for another in the near future) and with any luck I will still be able to.  It seems the management is truly doing all they can to advance Saab from their tough position.  They need to know they have a large group of people behind them supporting them.

    We are all hoping for the best.

  10. Is it or is it not a ‘banruptcy’?  Depends upon which side of the Atlantic you ask.  Reorganization to avoid legal action by creditors is chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States.  Apparently others distinguish differently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *