Saab News Germany: Situation in Sweden and Germany

Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher, Country Director Saab Germany
Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher, Country Director Saab Germany

Saab dealers have experienced quite a bit in Germany in recent years. How the current situation in Germany for the dealers and how the support for the distribution partners from Sweden is running we could only guess so far from personal conversations.

Automotive Operation-Online has published an interesting article about the situation in the country, even Saab Germany boss shoemaker comes to speak, talks about Saab liabilities and new orders.

German dealers are waiting for six-figure amount

Despite Chinese support, the Swedish automaker Saab seems to be getting even thinner. Many suppliers and creditors have turned to "Kronofogden", the Swedish executing agency, with their outstanding claims. This reports the Swedish newspaper "GT" in its online edition. Accordingly, the companies have claims up to nearly 750.000 US dollars.

According to a list published by the online newspaper, nearly 50 companies are said to have taken the step by Tuesday evening, including various service providers such as HR consultant Michael Page International, as well as suppliers such as Kongsberg Automotive and Benteler. The outstanding amounts therefore amount to almost 3,7 million US dollars.

However, this sum should only be a small part of the debt accumulated by the former GM brand under its new owner Spyker. In addition, big creditors like General Motors seem to be looking for another way. Recently, according to industry insiders, the French supplier Valeo had made a difference.

The newspaper "Dagens Nyheter" estimates the Saab debt to currently around 500 million crowns (54,7 million euros). The money needed in the short term could come from the sale of its own factories to Swedish real estate investors who, according to the media, are forfeiting 900 millions of kroner and wanting to earn rent. "There is no deadline, we do what we can," said the Saab spokeswoman.

Shoemaker: "The traders will get their money."

He knew nothing about an impending insolvency petition, said Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher, who has been the Country Director of Saab for Germany since the beginning of April, on request from »kfz-betrieb ONLINE«. The creditors also include the German Saab dealers: according to a survey of the dealer association, 32 dealers currently have receivables amounting to more than 200.000 euros that have not yet been credited.

"The dealers will get their money," says Schuhmacher. Originally, the Swedes, who had recently presented two Chinese partners after months of searching, wanted to settle their debts to the German merchants until the beginning of June. "Commitments were made to make payments in June," says Schuhmacher. "These are not yet done, but they will be instructed as soon as possible." However, he referred to the Swedish parent company.

Shoemaker tries to give the German traders courage. "In Germany, order intake has increased by 50 percent since mid-May," says Schuhmacher, without giving specific figures. 9-5, 9-4x and special models would develop positively.

This is also confirmed by the chairman of the Saab dealer association, Frank Jaenicke. However, since the partners' first half of the year seems to have gone quite well, the current situation is all the more annoying: "Despite the bad news, people are buying cars from us, but we can no longer tell them reliably when it will be delivered."

In addition, there is a lack of elementary things in the day-to-day business: for example, there are currently no current price lists - neither in paper nor digital. "We use configurators or supplement the prices in some cases by hand," says Jaenicke. However, against this backdrop, Saab does not shy away from discussing new contracts and standards with dealers. "But we really want to know how long Saab will last," emphasizes the dealer.

Currently, the bands are not running in Sweden. "At 9. June, Saab ceased production because the material flow was not smooth, "says Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher. Do everything imaginable to resume production as soon as possible. However, the bands would stand still until at least Friday. Previously, the carmaker had to stop production for seven weeks. Now Saab wants to catch up on the lack of supplies triggered production backlog by halving the summer vacation.

Great uncertainty despite new partners

Earlier this week Dutch owner Spyker Cars presented a new partner. According to the Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile wants to enter the already agreed partnership of Sweden with the car wholesaler Pang Da from Beijing. With the provision of a total of 245 million euros, the new Chinese partners want to help put the letter of intent of the traditional Swedish brand back on the right track.

The present for 3.700 workers, who have been worried about their jobs for more than a year, looks much more distressed than the bright future "Made in China": they were able to produce entire 10.888 cars in the first quarter. In the second due to the production stop even a fraction of it. When the tapes should start again, an order backlog of 10.000 cars is waiting for the 1.400 employees in production.

Source: kfzbetrieb-online