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Deliveries resume after late Saab payment

A supplier to Swedish carmaker Saab said Friday it had resumed deliveries to the brand, sold last year to luxury Dutch carmaker Spyker, because of unpaid bills.

Deliveries resume after late Saab payment

“At 9am we received the outstanding money in our account and IAC has resumed production and delivery to Saab,” Marcus Nyman of the Swedish division of International Automative Components (IAC) told the TT news agency via email on Friday morning.

On Thursday, IAC announced it had halted deliveries because the automaker had failed to make payment on a number of invoices.

“We unfortunately had to suspend our deliveries to Saab until further notice because of unpaid invoices,” Marcus Nyman of the Swedish division of International Automative Components (IAC) told AFP.

“The amount is significant and we have to protect our own creditors,” he added, explaining that IAC, which supplies components to Saab, had had the carmaker as a client for decades.

Saab spokesman Eric Geers denied the carmaker had liquidity problems.

“We have no liquidity problems. What is happening right now are discussions between us and suppliers. There are always two sides in negotiations,” he told the TT news agency.

IAC’s announcement is the latest in a series of setbacks for the loss-making Swedish brand.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Saab was forced to suspend production temporarily as suppliers halted the delivery of certain parts because of unpaid invoices.

Suppliers also cut deliveries to Saab’s Trollhättan plant because of late payments.

On Friday, Saab spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs told TT that production was set to start again at the company’s plant in Trollhättan again “as soon as the material is in place”.

Saab’s owner Spyker said production resumed Wednesday morning at the factory in Trollhättan, in southwest Sweden, and insisted that Saab “has sufficient means to meet its immediate liquidity needs.”

Last week, the brand’s chief executive Jan-Åke Jonsson said he would be leaving in May as Spyker announced heavy losses for 2010.

Spyker bought Saab from US auto giant General Motors last year, rescuing the iconic carmaker from certain closure.

Production restarted in March 2010 but Saab sold only 32,000 cars last year, three to four times less than a few years earlier.

Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov — who has since Saab’s sale said he wanted to help finance the brand but was forced out amid allegations of ties to organised crime — said Wednesday he had put in a request to the Swedish National Debt Office to take a stake in Saab.

The authority, which has a say in ownership changes because it guaranteed a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan to Saab, said it would give its answer in a few weeks.

On Thursday, the office said Saab had asked for a new installment of its loan, which would also be guaranteed.

Saab has “received up to now €217 million ($307 million) from the EIB and we have guaranteed up to €400 million so we have no reason to oppose” the installment,” spokeswoman Marja Lång said.

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TROLLHÄTTAN

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Three people were killed in an attack that shocked Sweden as a masked, sword-wielding assailant entered the school, stabbing students and teachers who appeared to be of foreign origin. Several people were also injured. The attacker, 21-year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson, was then shot dead by police.

“It was an attack on all of Sweden,” Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said as the procession ended outside the school.

In the week running up to the one-year anniversary, students of the school had made thousands of postcards in memory of the teacher, pupil and teacher aide who were killed in the assault.

A police investigation has showed that Lundin had planned the attack, which lasted around 10 minutes, after being inspired by racist websites.

A teenage student told The Local at the time that many people at the school at first thought it was some kind of a prank.

“I was in a classroom with my class when one of my classmates’ sisters called her to warn her that there was a murderer at the school. So we locked the door to the classroom, but our teacher was still outside in the corridor.”

“We wanted to warn him, so a few of us went outside and then I saw the murderer, he was wearing a mask and had a sword. Our teacher got stabbed.”

“The murderer started chasing me, I ran into another classroom. If I had not run, I would have been murdered. I’m feeling really scared. Everyone’s scared here.”

Trollhättan is an industrial town with around 50,000 residents.