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Tue, 17 Jun 2014 16:01:00 EST
It's ironic that Saab's current vehicle architecture is called the Phoenix platform, because like the mythological bird, the company keeps returning from the ashes. That's right, the embattled Swedish automaker isn't completely dead yet. Again. Actually, it may be facing yet another buyout, and this time, the buyer may be from India.
Thu, 23 May 2013 14:14:00 EST
Less than a month ago, the situation looked ominous for Saab. National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the carmaker's current owner, temporarily shut down 9-3 production at its Trollhättan factory not long after restarting it in the first place. According to Just Auto, it laid off about 100 consultants allegedly linked to problems making June payroll, as well. At the time, Saab claimed that the measures were temporary, and it was negotiating selling part ownership to another automaker.
Those assertions might have some truth behind them, it seems. Indian newspaper The Economic Times reports that Mahindra & Mahindra and an unnamed Asian automaker are negotiating with NEVS to purchase part of the company. It claims that the Indian automaker sees Saab as an opportunity to add a premium brand to its business.
Former Saab Chairman Victor Muller may be called in for questioning as part of an official inquiry into suspected tax evasion by three of the automaker's former executives. A prosecutor has officially named former CEO Jan-Ake Jonsson and two other executives in the investigation, and official court documents say that Muller will be called in by the Financial Crimes Unit. According to Reuters, prosecutors are currently looking into allegations that the executives worked to dodge taxes between 2010 and 2011, when the automaker finally went into bankruptcy.
Fri, 22 Jun 2012 18:00:00 EST
The Truth About Cars reports the investigation may center around the $540,000 paid as consulting fees to Latin America Tug Holding NV, a company Muller owns. It's possible that the Swedish authorities believe the Saab executives were using the tug boat company as a tax haven, and that the automaker should have paid taxes and social security contributions on the money. Muller has not been charged.
Meanwhile, Muller is defending his earnings in a new interview with Automotive News. Having come under fire for his $773,000 salary at Saab, the Spyker CEO said his pay was commensurate with an executive running a company with 4,000 employees.
If you've been wanting to get your hands on one last new Saab but missed out on the great Saab sell-off when Saab Cars North America declared bankruptcy, well, your ship has now come in.
Actually, it came in last year - but hundreds of new Saabs got waylaid at ports in California and New Jersey because of the bankruptcy, according to SaabWorld.net. Those cars are now slated for auction, some 900 of them, which will be available for dealers, exporters and rental car companies to bid on beginning next week. Eventually, 300 of these cars should make their way to Saab dealers, where they're expected to be sold off at 30- to 50-percent discounts. The other 600 will either be exported or used as rentals, according to the report, so "the price of Saabs will not be severely depressed."
Besides the new cars, some 67 company cars, including some interesting stuff like a 1960 Saab Quantum IV and a 1970 Sonnett III, will also be auctioned off, according to the report. Of the new cars, just over half are 9-5 models, some 400 are 9-3 sedans, another 60 are 9-3 wagons, and about a dozen are convertibles. According to the report, 28 are actually 9-4X crossovers, which is more than 10 percent of Saab's total 2011 sales for that model.