Saab administrator U-turn on 14-day debt recovery deadline

Saab administrator u-turn on 14-day debt recovery deadline

12/06/2012 in News, All News, Dealer News, Market Insight

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Saab administrator u-turn on 14-day debt recovery deadline

Saab GB administrators Howes Percival has removed the 14-day debt recovery deadline for former dealers of the Swedish brand.

The administrators had threatened a number of Saab dealers with litigation and MILS, the car dealer specialist solicitor, described the approach as being “heavy handed”.

Howes Percival will still be pursuing dealers to recover debts but is now prepared to deal with cases in “a conciliatory manner and on a case by case basis”.

MILS represents over 25% of former Saab dealers and is currently providing legal defence against the claims from the administrators.

Adam Cox, managing director of MILS, said: "In such cases, the dealer may be able to offset money owed to them by Saab GB against money owed by the manufacturer.

"This same argument can be used in relation to debts such as liabilities for the manufacturer’s warranty.

"There also appears to be a serious issue regarding vehicles purchased on a sale or return basis from Saab GB.

"In some cases, Saab are delaying payment or refusing to buy back these vehicles in the last few months of trading. In such circumstances, franchisees may be able to claim for the difference between the return value and that realised by the vehicle at sale, and still claim the bonus achieved."


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Saab GB

Following the demise of Saab - falling into bankruptcy at the of 2011 - the name continues here as Saab Automobile Parts UK, formed from the British arm of the business and a network of around 80 authorised repairers aiming to offer cover for "90% of what was the original manufacturer's warranty".

From March 2013 it also started promoting the sale of used Saabs after its used car locator helped generate 1,000 unit sales in 2012.

Saab GB's managing director heads up a team of 16 at the new company.

In September 2011 Saab Automobile won an appeal in a Swedish court to get the go-ahead for bankruptcy protection proceedings in the hope that this will give it time to secure a deal with Chinese investors.

A month later the carmaker secured a second round of funding, of £44.6 million, from US private equity firm North Street Capital to contribute to restructuring. Saab subsequently terminated its Chinese funding agreements.

On November 2011 administrators from Grant Thornton were appointed to Saab Great Britain, the UK's national sales company for the Swedish brand.

The company entered a voluntary administration following months of suspended production and tight liquidity at its global parent, Saab Automobile AB.

In the meantime, sales stalled. And in October 2012 Saab's dealer council disbanded, donating the balance of funds to sector charity BEN.

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