My first thought was to recover from the punch in the face it felt like I’d just received.
It was a blow, for sure.
The agreements that Swedish Automobile made with Pang Da and Youngman promised much in terms of future development for Saab. To have those agreements end in a flurry of last-minute activity like this is disappointing in the extreme. As employees, I think I can say that we all had faith in those agreements and what they could mean for the future of the company.
It’s a difficult blow, especially given the time constraints that the company faces. It’s not terminal, though. If you think you can write the script for the scenes that are to follow in this drama, then you haven’t learned a thing in the last six months.
A few things to remember here…..
Swedish Automobile NV had binding agreements in place, which it honoured exclusively with the parties involved, excluding other parties who were interested in the company. With the dissolution of these agreements, that exclusivity is now gone and there are others interested in what Saab have to offer.
Swedish Automobile NV has a board and a supervisory board who took this decision for considered reasons. It is not, as one automotive writer suggested, a matter of them wanting to have their cake and eat it, too. There are multiple stakeholders in this and the offer made to take over Saab didn’t reflect the value in the company, nor did it reflect the agreements that went before it, some of them less than 10 days old.
Saab doesn’t have a debt crisis. We have a liquidity crisis. Our debt is manageable if we are producing and selling vehicles. In that scenario, the value in the company is much greater than our present market capitalisation.
We are a fantastic company, building great cars designed by fantastic people and we have a market for them. What we don’t have at this second is the lubricant needed to get the machine moving – cash.
There are other entities out there who recognise this and will be attracted to investing in Saab and that scenario is better than a lowball offer such as the one that our board has just said no to.
We have time pressures, for sure. But it ain’t over yet. Not by a long shot.