Spyker continues to look for extra funding for its ailing Saab brand

Spyker Cars, the Dutch parent company of Saab, says that it is continuing its search for ‘short and medium term funding’ after a suspension of some component deliveries last week halted Saab’s production line.

‘Spyker and Saab Automobile are currently in discussion with several parties to secure additional short and medium term funding for Saab Automobile’ Spyker said in an official statement.

‘The Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) has been requested to release its pledge in the shares of Saab Automobile Property AB in order to enable Saab Automobile to use this property to secure further funding. This is one of the funding scenarios Saab Automobile is currently working on.’

‘The outcome of the discussions is still not certain and subject to the release of the NDO. Spyker expects to be able to come with more details before Thursday 14 April 2011. With additional funding in place to resolve outstanding payment issues with its suppliers Saab Automobile expects it will be able to resume normal production within a week from the receipt of funds.’

Spyker says it needs the extra funding to allow it to re-start production as well as ‘realise’ its 2011 business plan, which includes the imminent launch of the 9-5 SportCombi estate and the GM-sourced 9-4X SUV.

It seems that sales of the new 9-5 and existing 9-3 range are not generating enough cash to pay suppliers and the expected start-up and launch costs of the 9-5 Sport Combi and 9-4X.

Crucially, the 9-5 estate is very important for EU sales and the 9-4X equally essential in the crossover-dominated US market. Saab’s financial position would probably improve significantly once these models are on sale.

However, until the two cars are launched, Saab is in the catch-22 situation that it will not generate enough cash from existing new car sales. Ironically, Saab has, though, got the funding for the development of the new generation 9-3 and the new corporate Phoenix platform.

This funding comes from a £350m European Investment Bank loan, around half of which has already been spent. However, Saab needs to survive on a day-to-day basis until next Autumn, when the new 9-3 is expected to arrive in showrooms.

Hilton Holloway

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