The future of Saab still lies in jeopardy as the financial woes of its parent company, Spyker Cars, run by Dutch businessman Victor Muller, is starting to have an effect on investor sentiment and daily operations. Saab has run out of cash, meaning it can’t pay suppliers and has subsequently been forced to stop production.
Spyker was recently thrown a lifeline, with the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Saab’s former owner General Motors giving the green light to Russia’s Vladimir Antonov to invest $45 million in Spyker in return for a 29.9 percent stake in the Dutch company.
However, with Spyker announcing this month a $107 million loss for the first quarter of the year, as well as news that it won’t be able to meet its 80,000 unit annual sales target for Saab this year, things are still not looking good.
There is one bright spot on the horizon, however. Spyker is reportedly in talks with up to three major Chinese automakers about a possible investment in Saab. While no official confirmation has been made, it’s thought that Spyker is currently in negotiations with Great Wall Motor Co., China Youngman Automobile Group Co. and Jiangsu Yueda Group Co. It’s also thought that a deal could be struck within days.
The good news is that any deal struck with a Chinese automaker will likely pave the way for Saab to start selling cars in China, the world’s biggest market for new cars.
Other avenues of cash Spyker is investigating for Saab include the sale-and-leaseback of some property in Sweden, as well as technology licensing with rival firms.
Stay tuned for an update.