Spyker can’t change its name to Saab

Spyker can't change its name to Saab
Swedish defence contractor Saab AB doesn't want Spyker Cars, owner of the similarly named Swedish automaker, to have Saab in its new name. Meanwhile, Saab assembly lines remain idle amid continued negotiations with suppliers.

Spyker’s name change plans came about following the sale its high-end sports car manufacturing business synonymous with the Dutch carmaker.

In February, Spyker announced it was selling its sports car business to a UK-based company controlled by Russian financier Vladimir Antanov in order to focus solely on developing Saab Autombile, which was purchased by Spyker in February 2010.

Spyker has since indicated it wants to change its name to something that more reflects its new focus, but Swedish defence contractor Saab AB remained cool to the idea of Spyker using ‘Saab’ in its new name.

Instead, Spyker plans to vote to change its name to Swedish Automobile at its upcoming annual meeting, scheduled for May 19th, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

“The reason is that we haven’t been able to reach an agreement with Saab AB yet,” Spyker CEO Victor Muller told the TT news agency on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Saab’s factory in Trollhättan remains idle as the company continues to negotiate with suppliers over late payments.

According to Svenåke Berglie, chair of Fordonskomponentgruppen (FKG), a trade association representing Scandinavian auto industry suppliers, there are between five and ten suppliers which haven’t been paid and which have thus halted deliveries.

“The debts are surely up over 30 million kronor ($4.7 million),” he told TT.

Saab is now in a dialogue with the suppliers about a possible resolution to the matter. But Berglie doesn’t have much faith in repayment plans or other measures.

“Most of them are also under pressure and need to be paid in full at the right time. They also have things they need to pay for,” he said.

He added that it was appropriate for Saab to halt production until it had worked out its current cashflow problems.

However, he cautioned that production had better start up again next week.

“Otherwise I think it would harm the market and besides it costs a lot to keep a factory idle,” he said.

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