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Saab still waiting on full investor funds

Saab’s owner Swedish Automobile, said the payment of its August wages to employees could be delayed for the third month in a row.

The delayed payments have been caused by funds from new Chinese investors not coming through in time.

A Saab statement said: “We are taking every necessary step to collect the funds in time and continue discussions with various parties to obtain additional short-term funding so payments can be made and sustainable production can resume.

“There can however be no assurance that funding will be found or the funds collected.”

Production at Saab’s Trollhattan plant has been halted since April but is expected to start again before the end of August.

Before production actually came to a halt, Saab had faced a mounting liquidity crisis that had repeatedly slowed production as suppliers stopped deliveries over unpaid bills.

Back in February 2010, Saab was bought out for £245 million from US automobile giant General Motors by Dutch company Spyker Cars, which has lurched from one cash crisis to the next ever since.

The Retail Motor Industry told AM that, despite the last rocky couple of years and inevitable industry concern, Saab cannot be counted out just yet: “If Saab secures sufficient funding, then the brand has a loyal customer base that is likely to continue purchasing its vehicles.”

Professor Peter Cooke, head of the centre for automotive management (CAM) at the University of Buckingham in the UK agrees.

“Many auto industry players experience these sorts of hiccups…I think it’s fair to say that UK dealers will ride the situation out, and focus on keeping relationships going with both their customers and with Saab. If they don’t, what’s open to them?

"They’re not going to look for another franchise. The industry has seen production shut downs in the past. That’s business," he said.

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