Archive for September, 2009

Dagens Industri Reports Saab May Not Get Full EIB Loan

Posted on 30. Sep, 2009 by .

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Swedish Newspaper, Dagens Industi reports that Saab may not get the full EIB loan as syndicated on Reuters today.

There are conditions apparently that may not exactly fit the loan lending rules, but this is from an unnamed source, so take this news lightly until we hear otherwise from official channels.

Saab may not get full EIB loan – paper
Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:16pm EDT

* $612 mln loan is key to Koenigsegg acquisition plans

* Questions whether some projects fit EIB lending rules

* Concerns remain over Koenigsegg’s ability to buy Saab

STOCKHOLM, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Ailing Swedish car firm Saab, being sold by General Motors [GM.UL], may not get the full 4.3 billion Swedish crown ($612 million) loan it has asked for from the European Investment Bank (EIB), daily Dagens Industri wrote on Tuesday, quoting an unnamed source.

The loan is key to plans by luxury car maker Koenigsegg to buy Saab, but the EIB is doubtful whether some of the group’s projects to develop environmentally friendly technology are within its remit for lending.

The EIB could lend Saab much less than the car maker wants, the paper wrote.

“There are questions about whether a number of development projects fit with the EIB’s rules for lending,” the paper quoted a source with insight into the process saying.

Koenigsegg, backed by U.S. and Norwegian investors, struck a preliminary acquisition deal earlier this year, but concerns have continued to surface over whether it had the financial muscle to buy and run Saab.

Koenigsegg is in talks with Sweden to secure state guarantees for the EIB loans.

But Dagens Industri said that questions had also been raised regarding the value of collateral that would be placed with Sweden’s Debt Office to secure a guarantee from the
government.

“There is a discussion as to whether Saab’s assets shouldn’t be valued at their worth in the event of insolvency rather at market value,” the source said.

“In that case, the collateral would not be enough security for a loan of 4.3 billion crowns.”

Koenigsegg Chief Executive and part owner Christian von Koenigsegg told Reuters on Saturday there was good progress in talks to secure the guarantees and the group aimed to finalise Saab’s acquisition by the end of October. [ID:nLQ720794]

He played down a report that Koenigsegg could pull out of the deal unless there was progress on securing loans by Wednesday.

This month, Koenigsegg said state-run Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings would take a minority stake in the luxury carmaker as part of its planned purchase, easing funding
worries.

Swedish state secretary Joran Hagglund told Reuters on Tuesday he hoped the EIB would decide on the loan on Oct. 21 or the day after.

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Over Five Hunded Fifty Saabs Destroyed In CARS Program

Posted on 30. Sep, 2009 by .

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cars Over Five Hunded Fifty Saabs Destroyed In CARS Program

The full list is in of the Saabs that were “traded” in under the “Cash For Clunkers” program here in the United States. The wrath of the Saabs that were permanently destroyed toppled 550+ according to the reports that are listed on two pages according to Jalopnik (page one, page two)

While the program appeared to be successful in meeting its goal in getting bad cars off of the road, I am surprised to see all of the Saabs that were crushed here including a 2008 model year 9-3? I can’t imagine that all of the vehicles had that poor gas mileage, due to condition and/or or bad combinations of V-6 automatics, that they all were good candidates to be scrapped. I just cannot believe it. There were probably some good cars there including great donor parts.

What I really want to know is what these customers bought after destroying their Saabs, was it a Prius like the guy that lives near LL Bean’s Headquarters, or was it a newer Saab?

For those brave enough to read it, here’s the list of the vehicles by model that are now, permanently destroyed.

For more information on the program, that is now officially over, please visit the CARS website.

C900
’84 – 1
’85 – 12
’86 – 10
’88 – 11
’89 – 10
’90 – 17
’91 – 20
’93 – 42

Total = 123

C900 Convertible
’87 – 6
’89 – 12
’90 – 13
’91 – 18
’92 – 37
’93 – 5

Total = 91
[...]

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European Investment Bank Decides On Koenigsegg Group Loan For Future Eco Products On October 21st

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by .

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The European Investment Bank decides on the Koenigsegg Loan on October 21st according to E24. This loan application, if granted, will provide Saab Automobile the money for future environmentally friendly technologies in future products.

In my dialogue with the EIB, this date is still on schedule, and realize that the decision will dictate the future direction for Saab Automobile’s products, moving forward.

The big issue with this loan is that it still needs the Swedish Government’s approval for it as a guarantor, then it goes to the European Commission to be signed off on and finally to the EIB. That entire process needs to take place by October 21st. That’s a lot of paperwork shuffling for some big bureaucracies, so I wish them all luck with this loan being fast tracked by then.

Here’s the article by E24 below.

European Investment Bank, EIB, has since Koenigsegg Group submitted a loan application for 400 million euros worked to evaluate it. About three weeks, on October 21, the EIB should take a decision – yes or no.

But this applies only if further detailed negotiations. This means that Koenigsegg Group and Saab may have to wait for the money for next year.

- The Board may, in October to give its approval for continuation of detailed negotiations on financial contracts, but I can not say how long it takes before any loan can be paid. It can take months, says Eva Srejber, Vice President of the EIB.

Just over two weeks ago signed the Beijing Automotive, BAIC, a letter of intent with the Koenigsegg Group to become minority shareholders and go in with a capital.

That an agreement between the companies are not likely to be clear about three weeks is not crucial for the Bank’s approval. Eva Srejber says that much can happen after 21 October and that the bank may choose to say no to a loan at a later stage.

- If Koenigsegg Group agrees to our demands, the process will go faster.

But while the EIB and the Koenigsegg Group for a dialogue on the possible loan of three other ongoing processes in parallel. The commission must give its “no objection”, which means it has no objection to the loan, and the government, the Commission and the borrower must agree on whether the state guarantee in line with state aid rules.

In addition, the National Debt Office along with the government agreeing with Koenigsegg Group on the terms of this guarantee.

Secretary of State Joran Hagglund (C), which is the government’s chief negotiator in the deal, saying that there are constant updates due to changing demands from the EIB and the Government.

- There is much work left to do and we need to be agreed on several important points before we take a decision. But I can not say how the business plan has been revised.

According to Joran Hagglund, the business plan, stress tested on many occasions, which means that you are testing it under different economic conditions. But he would not respond to what stress tests have shown.

The EIB, which demands that any loan will contribute to better environmental development and security. Currently watching the EIB in the business plan and the bank makes a thorough review. And the government believes it is important that Saab can be competitive in a number of markets in order to display the loan guarantees.

- Our starting point is that we will be ready with our work and can agree with the Koenigsegg until the Bank takes its decisions in three weeks.

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Saab Sighting Of The Week, Saab 9-5 Spiritual Successor Of Saab 9000 In Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by .

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9000cc Saab Sighting Of The Week, Saab 9 5 Spiritual Successor Of Saab 9000 In Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Photo Credit: Carl Levine

Carl Levine, has provided Saab History with a nice Saab Sighting of the week this week. This Saab sighting showcases “spiritual successors”. These being a 1992 Saab 9000 CC to the right, adjacent to a 2004 Saab 9-5 at a parking garage in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

As we all know, the Saab 9-5 was developed as the successor to the 9000 and in 1997, they were built side by side at the Saab Factory in Sweden as one was being phased out and the other, phased in.

It’s not often when you see the older 9000 CC models around, especially the few years that the facelifted version was available (1991-1992) in the hatchback model as you see here.

A great find and nice to see it on the road and running today, especially in the suggested new home to Saab Cars North America, Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

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Christian Von Koenigsegg Interviewed About Rumors

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by .

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cvk Christian Von Koenigsegg Interviewed About Rumors

Photo Credit: Saab History

Christian Von Koenigsegg
, CEO of Koenigsegg Group, denies rumors of trouble in the investor group that plans on taking over Saab Automobile from GM.

Here is a report from e24 & SVD, posted today about his interview with them.

Koenigsegg Group CEO Christian von Koenigsegg denies rumor of trouble in the investor group to take over Saab Automobile from GM. But the protracted affair is starting to weigh CEO: “It is a great sacrifice of time, money, resources and brand,” he told and SvD reporter.

It is evident that the enthusiastic entrepreneurs behind Koenigsegg Group no longer manage to keep the positive noises upstairs. This weekend went Norwegian businessman and owner of the Koenigsegg Group, Bard Eker, out of the Norwegian media and talked about an ongoing ownership split in the group who would threaten the whole affair.

But according to Christian von Koenigsegg, who talked with BÃ¥rd Eker, said he was misquoted in the newspapers.

- Any fraction of ownership, we have certainly not within the Koenigsegg Group.

Bard Eker said that “if everything is in place on Wednesday, we are out.” But was it he or the newspapers who said it was on Wednesday as the end date? We do not know from what we heard from Christian von Koenigsegg.

- What we’ve noticed with this deal is that it is very media intense and arouses great interest. We can not go out and talk about the details on a daily basis. We need to focus on our business, “he says and believes that it leaves room for speculation and misunderstanding,” he says.

There are still a number of parallel processes running. Among other things, is it important loan of just over 4 billion grant from the European Investment Bank, EIB, in about three weeks. First, however the Swedish Government must provide a loan guarantee to the EIB.

- Both the Bank and the Debt Office may always have information from us and Saab what happens and we respond to their questions when they request more information.

Although there are many milestones left you can see them in the Koenigsegg Group as more formal today. Christian von Koenigsegg stresses that all parties involved have the same goal to bring together the deal to the end of October or early November.

He, who previously failed so hopeful and positive, but sounds more embarrassed today but did not evaluate the Koenigsegg Group will pull out.

- I would not say. But since it is so here that the conditions have to be sufficiently interesting for us to want to do the deal. It is a great sacrifice of time, money, resources and brand, “he says, but points out that they still have come a long way in the affair, and that conditions are” reasonable “.

Have conditions changed lately?

- I would not say either, but it is a negotiation between different parties and everyone will agree. It is a process that requires many resources, he says, adding that they are on the track.

The loans that Saab needs EIB is mainly intended for new environmental technology. Without going into details about the environmental technology company will develop, “says Christian von Koenigsegg that environmental engineering is an important part of the business group has presented and for the evaluation of EIB.

Koenigsegg Group has signed a letter of intent with Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings, BAIC, with the plan that they will go in as a minority owner of the Koenigsegg Group to cover up the missing part of the capital need. But how much BAIC will take is still unclear.

- We have not gone out with a precise percentage. It is important to note that they are minority shareholders. They can not control in any way the Koenigsegg Group, but they are a partner with us, “said Christian von Koenigsegg that either do not want to respond to the BAIC has covered up the 3 billion according to estimates previously missing.

- The 3 billion missing does not come from us. We said we saw an opening in the business plan which was around 30 percent and we saw the need for multiple parties to resolve it. And the parties were GM, Koenigsegg Group and the government – but the government declined, and then we found its third partner in the BAIC.

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Sales Of Saab 9-3x Cross-Combi Rising In Sweden

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by .

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9 3xc Sales Of Saab 9 3x Cross Combi Rising In Sweden

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

The Saab 9-3x Cross-Combi is seeing rising sales in Sweden says a local dealership in Trollhattan. It is my hope that when other dealerships receive this car, particularly in the United States, the same result will take place.

Of course, this car will not be able to be ordered by Saab dealerships in the United States until they receive and sign their new Koenigsegg Group dealer agreement.

In the meantime, here’s the article by TTELA discussing this increasing interest in the 9-3x in Sweden, loosely translated by google.

New Saab 9-3x, which among other things showed up in Bastad last summer, has attracted considerable interest at home in Trollhättan.

TROLLHÄTTAN The first came barely two weeks ago, and customers will continue to flow to. Ana has sold about twenty cars and it is clear that the Saab 9-3x has brought home district interests.

Since manufactured in Trollhättan Saab 9-3x was launched a few weeks ago, it quickly found its place in the market as a family car that can withstand tough conditions and has a higher ground clearance than its predecessor, 9-3.

Lennart Andersson is the sales manager at Saab in Trollhattan Ana. He is delighted and describes customers and interest in the new model as a whole.

- Absolutely. First we delivered already for almost two weeks ago, after the launch weekend. And there are many who want to look at it, “he says.

According to Lennart Andersson is the interest in the model is clearly comparing with launches of previous Saab models.

- To date we have sold about 20 cars, he says on Monday afternoon.

While there are many who come in to inquire about the forthcoming Saab 9-5, which recently was presented to the public show at the Frankfurt Motor Show. According to the company itself is the most advanced car they ever made.

- There we have already sold a few cars, even though we do not know what it will cost yet, “said Lennart Andersson.

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The Selection & Assignment Process Of Saab Dealerships

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by .

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sd The Selection & Assignment Process Of Saab Dealerships

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

Saab History has recently learned that there will be a dealership “selection and assignment” process that will take place at some point if not already for the existing Saab dealerships in the United States. I thought that any Saab dealership that made it this far, would surely be included in the new Saab Cars North America, but maybe not?

I should say that the dealership supporters of Saab History, all look forward to being a part of the new Saab Cars North America program. These dealerships have gone above and beyond and have done their very best to represent what a true Saab dealership should be in terms of their presence, their knowledge, customer base and of course sales & service.

While we don’t know what and how this dealership selection and assignment process will be (I’m sure someone does), we do know that there are many good dealerships still today that have done their very best and should be considered and included, moving forward.

If you are reading this and have an idea about what this “selection & assignment” process criteria consists of, please contact me so we can learn about it.

Here’s a quote sent to me earlier that outlines this process for dealerships in the United States.

“Going forward, we will keep you informed on activities and developments related to the sale of Saab to Koenigsegg Group AB, including the selection and assignment of dealer agreements to the new Saab organization. Thanks for all your help and cooperation. We will continue to work very hard to make Saab’s rebirth a complete success.”

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Koenigsegg CEO Still Aims For Saab Deal By October

Posted on 27. Sep, 2009 by .

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Koenigsegg’s CEO, Christian Von Koenigsegg, whom I interviewed a few weeks ago in Frankfurt, says that the deal to acquire Saab Automobile is still on track to be completed by the end of October according to Reuters.

This news comes immediately following a mis-interpreted story about Koenigsegg Group’s co-owner, BÃ¥rd Eker.

It’s good to know that the Koenigsegg Group is on the ball when it comes to the news about them as their process in securing the deal with Saab by October gets closer.

Koenigsegg CEO says still aims for Saab deal in October

Saturday, September 26, 2009; 11:16 AM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Koenigsegg’s top executive said on Saturday the luxury sport scar maker still aimed to finalize a deal to buy Saab Automobile from General Motors by the end of October.

Koenigsegg Chief Executive and part owner Christian von Koenigsegg also told Reuters that good progress was being made in talks to secure Swedish state guarantees for billions of crowns of loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“Our deadline for the deal still remains the end of October as we have previously said,” he said

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