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Saab bidders want to restart production

Every bidder that has placed an offer to purchase Saab wants to restart vehicle production at the bankrupt Swedish company’s assembly plant in Trollhattan.

saab-9-5

The final deadline for submitting bids on Saab passed on Monday, with a number of international automotive firms putting forward an offer. The company’s administrators will not release details of the number, identity or specific plans of bidders, but told Swedish media earlier this week each one has plans to produce cars at Trollhattan - although not necessarily new Saabs.

Indian manufacturer Mahinda & Mahindra is the only company that has publically confirmed its bid for Saab, while reports claim an alliance from China and Japan put forward plans to produce electric cars at the disused plant in Sweden.

The administrators hope to make a decision on the brand’s future before June.

Saab filled for bankruptcy and ceased vehicle production 12 months ago after it could no longer afford to pay its suppliers and employees.

Saab’s administrators confirmed on Tuesday the company’s debt totals 13 billion Swedish kronor ($1.9 billion) yet its combined assets amount to just 3.6 billion kronor ($510 million). The administrators are hopeful the successful bidder will be prepared to pay more than the assets are worth in order to finance at least part of Saab’s debts.

The Wall Street Journal reports 3400 former Saab Automobile employees are unlikely to receive unpaid wages. According to the administrators, Saab owes 513 million kronor ($73.2 million) to its staff and 870 million kronor ($124 million) to the Swedish government, which agreed to pay workers for three months.

A small number of new Saab cars are still available in Australia, although as the vehicles’ warranties were issued by the bankrupt parent company, they are no longer valid and will not be honoured by local dealers.

Nine new Saabs have been registered in Australia this year: four 9-3 sedans, three 9-3 convertibles and two 9-5s.