Saab payment ‘glitches’ continue

Saab payment ‘glitches’ continue
The Saab production lines stopped again Tuesday due to lack of material, with suppliers confirming that unpaid invoices lie behind the continuing problems.

“It is true that we are lacking some vital components,” said Gunilla Gustavs at the Saab information department to news agency TT.

On Monday Saab stand-in CEO Victor Muller called last week’s stops in production ‘a small glitch’. The explanation is the same as last week – Saab is negotiating with suppliers.

“Interruptions are sure to happen while that is going on,“ Gustavs told TT.

But according to suppliers unpaid invoices remain the sticking point.

“I have been told that as many as five suppliers have stopped their deliveries because they haven’t been paid. What Saab is saying is pure bullshit,” Svenåke Berglie, CEO for FKG, the trade association for the Swedish automotive business, said to TT.

Berglie finds Saabs actions incomprehensible.

“They are making it sound like it is the suppliers’ fault – that’s why we are reacting so strongly. We have damn well put out for Saab,” he told TT.

He thinks that Saab should tell the truth. Everyone can be halted by cahflow problems and the most important thing is to look for realistic solutions.

“Honesty is what pays. If Saab is currently begging for a repayment scheme they should be open about it. But Saab has chosen the wrong strategy. If you are going to try to paint over the harsh truth you should do it in a way that people can’t see the paint,” he said to TT.

As far as Berglie is aware this has nothing to do with the suppliers trying to negotiate a better deal.

“They haven’t been paid. If you don’t pay your bills you should expect that suppliers react. Many have financial problems of their own,” he said.

On Monday, Victor Muller called the media reports on Saab’s financial problems ‘disproportionate’ and said that the brand was getting ‘hammered’ in the press for not meeting its targets.

But Berglie doesn’t believe the Saab board’s opinion that reports in the media has made matters worse for Saab.

“They have managed this on their own. It is not the media’s fault,” he told TT.

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