Saab suppliers recall redundancy notices

The completion of the purchase of Saab by Dutch firm Spyker has led to several subcontractors withdrawing notices of redundancy.

Saab suppliers recall redundancy notices

At supplier IAC, 121 staff can now expect to continue in employment after the firm announced it was pulling back their notice.

In December a total of 159 were told that their jobs would go from plants in Färgelanda, Skara, Gothenburg and Trollhättan in connection with the announcement of US firm GM’s decision to close Saab down.

Employees were told on Wednesday of the news.

“It is positive that the deal has been concluded. Now we hope that this will be a successful solution,” Marcus Nyman at IAC Group told the TT news agency.

IAC, which employs around 1,000 staff, still plans to make 38 people redundant, mostly office staff.

“There is still an insecurity in the market which means that we need to tighten things. We do not dare believe in a major recovery,” Nyman said.

IAC, which manufactures instrument panels and inside doors to Saab, is meanwhile all set to resume deliveries.

“As soon as Saab is prepared we will meet their needs,” Marcus Nyman confirmed.

He revealed that he had been forwarded information which indicated that production can start gradually during the week beginning March 22nd and be at full capacity by April 5th.

“But if it happens quicker, then we can adjust.”

Nyman forecast that Saab could thrive as an independent niche car maker.

“It will make Saab lighter on its feet, more flexible, and in control of its own destiny, which is very important in a tough market. But of course they have a laborious process in front of them.”

According to Svenåke Berglie at sector interest group Fordonkomponentgruppen, Saab will take a “couple of weeks” to return to normal production.

Now it is just a question of getting sales going again, he explained, following Tuesday’s confirmation that Spyker Cars will in fact take over the Swedish firm.

According to Berlie, hope has returned to hard hit suppliers within the industry.

“Among Swedish suppliers there is clearly an attitude that they should help out, but it is really a question, for all parties involved, of doing business that is profitable for all.”

Saab retailers across Sweden welcomed the news of Spyker’s Saab takeover and hope that sales volumes will climb by next year.

“It is now a question of getting production going and starting to sell cars and restore faith among customers,” said Peter Hallberg at the association of Saab dealers.

Hallberg confirmed that Saab dealers have a stock of around 600 cars – primarily old model 9-5s – and hopes that production of 9-3s starts to roll off the production line within three-four weeks.

Henrik Sjödin at the Stockholm School of Economics says that the drawn out saga of the Saab purchase will demand hard work from the company to restore confidence in the Saab brand.

The road to Spyker Cars’ takeover has been long and rocky, Sjödin observed, with the several death sentences, reprieves, Koenigsegg Group’s withdrawal, Chinese BAIC, Spyker’s sudden appearance, rumours of mafia contacts and a slew of damning media reports.

It will take time, Sjödin argues, before consumers dare return to car showrooms and buy a Saab, in Sweden anyway.

“I can imagine many will want a little more solid ground under their feet first,” he said.

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Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.