Guys, I don’t think Saab is going to make it.
Back on 16 August, the Swedish car company needed to pony up at least $620,000 (they didn’t) in order to stop Sweden’s Debt Enforcement Agency from beginning collections proceedings (they did). And to be clear: that $620,000 isn’t the total of what Saab owes. For instance, they already at least owe $8.7 million just for July payroll — and more on that in a minute.
(Read our past Saab coverage here and here.)
The car company part of Saab hasn’t techincally made a car since April of 2011. For one thing, none of its suppliers will deliver the car-making supplies necessary, what with Saab not paying its bills at all. (However, Saab is paying out bonuses to executives and increased payments to its Board because that’s awesome, and no one deserves a bonus more than the suits behind a car company that can’t pay its bills and what’s that? You’re telling me that Saab gave bonuses to its executives and Board while delaying wages to its actual workers? Perfect. Just…perfect.)
However, at least according to this USA Today story (the newspaper your dad reads while drinking instant coffee), Saab hopes to stay on track with several overseas deals, primarily with China (a deal with Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pang Da Automobile for a joint venture to make and sell cars in China) and Russia — which sounds like a set-up for a monotonous new James Bond film about the Cold War with pricy cars.
But come on, right? How attractive can these Chinese and Russian deals be to the Chinese and Russian stakeholders? What would be the value in purchasing a company that can’t pay its bills and is about to be served with a collections notice by a governmental agency? (Oh, and I totally forgot to mention that Saab was frozen out of its bank accounts on Friday. “Bank mistake,” Saab told the press. “We’re totally good now.” Which is the same excuse I’ve given when my bank card gets returned for insufficient funds, so I’m TOTALLY READY to own my own European car company!)
Sure, hope springs eternal — but not capital. [Insert Saab/sob joke here.]