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'Saab is a brilliant deal': Antonov

TT/Rebecca Martin · 14 Apr 2011, 16:38

Published: 14 Apr 2011 10:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Apr 2011 16:38 GMT+02:00

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"Saab is a brilliant business deal,” Lars Carlström, Antonov’s Swedish spokesperson, told news agency TT.

Carlström is surprised that other potential backers haven’t realised this. According to him, it is a myth that Saab isn’t making any money.

"Saab was very integrated into General Motors and a lot of the profits went straight into their production," Carlström said to news agency TT.

But now the future is bright for Saab and the Antonov group wants a large share.

“In 2008 Saab sold 133,000 cars with a ten-year-old model. Today, there are three new models and all are not even released on the market. It should be possible to sell a 100,000 cars now, reaching 130,000 in a year or two,” Carlström told TT.

Meanwhile, the Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden) has been advised to investigate the Russian financier at the request of Sweden's enterprise ministry.

"I don’t know when it will be completed, but these kind of investigations must be allowed to take their time," Håkan Lind, head of information at the ministry for enterprise, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

According to SR, an investigation into Antonov’s past was initiated as soon as the sale to Spyker was on the agenda.

Antonov was then a part owner but was forced out by GM, and the investigation was interrupted.

Behind the investigation were rumours that Antonov had connections to the Russian mafia, but no evidence has been found to confirm these reports.

In the mean time the Saab's factory in western Sweden remains idle.

Story continues below…

According to SR the employees were told on Thursday morning to not bother showing up for work on Friday either.

On Thursday Antonov's plans to become an owner of Saab appeared to be moving forward as the Debt Office announced it had received an agreement from Saab and a "foreign party" thought to be Antonov.

According to debt office head Bo Lundgren, it is now up to the Swedish government to decide how to proceed regarding potential changes to Saab's ownership.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:44 April 14, 2011 by Irishmanabroad
"to not bother showing up for work on Friday either. "

Surely it would have been better to write:

"According to SR the employees were told on Thursday morning that they would not be required to attend work on Friday."

Very negative writing
12:01 April 14, 2011 by Eagle63
Indeed, at least TRY to write about Saab in a neutral, factual way.

Remember the automotive world would be much more boring without Saab; there is more than enough Kia, Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota etc etc on the roads.

Hopefully they can sort their problems out.
13:27 April 14, 2011 by Jasper2
1. Senor Antonov really needs to learn how to tie a windsor knot.

2. I have a "gut feeling" this guy will actually pull SAAB out of it's current stalemate.

3. Nice going Swedish government- the Chinese now own Volvo and the Russians will soon own SAAB.
15:32 April 14, 2011 by millionmileman
I wish everyone who is so negative would sit down and take a breath. Most of you have no idea what Saab has been through in the past year. I have, including the the very first SAVE SAAB rally in Detroit.

Not only will Saab soon release the most new model line-up in its history, you will also be able to see the innovation and quality.

Also remember the USA (Saab's largest market) has gone through the worst economy since the Great Depression. Saab is fighting back and will be potentially more Swedish than even Volvo. Many dealers went without any stock until the factory ramped-up production.

For those who are complaining go out and buy one, You do not know what your missing. The new 9-5 is a superb vehicle and soon the new Combi will be a world beater.
15:58 April 14, 2011 by Eagle63
Well said, millionmileman.

Btw; has anyone noticed that on the roads BMW, Audi or MB drivers are usually not as 'well behaved' on the road than Saab drivers are ?

I wonder why....
16:38 April 14, 2011 by Nemesis
Why doesn't he just admit he is closing the Trollhattan factory and moving it lock, stock and barrel to Kalingrad? At least then he would be honest about what he is doing.
17:12 April 14, 2011 by Paulsaero
Eagle63 yes, the German metal is used by driven people focused on staying up with the crowd, Saabs are driven by people who don't want to be part of the herd.

As for buying a Saab, with three under my belt, as soon as my job situation settles I will be having a 9-5 2.8 XWD in Jet Black with HUD.
18:25 April 14, 2011 by jackx123
debt office? never come across a country that has one. i thought it was called the treasurer or finance department, or i suppose finance inspection. this is funny
18:45 April 14, 2011 by ingka
as much as I like what millionmileman says. Just a side note on the US situation. Indeed their biggest market BUT they need to get financial stability in order to get into the only way to make volumes in the US car market ... Financial Leasing.
12:15 April 15, 2011 by RobinHood
Factory closed for two weeks. Suppliers refuse to deliver. Assets sold at short notice. Paid "experts" praising Saab to high heavens. Antonov to extract Saab assets as security for a "loan".

Everyone involved, from the new owners to the government, is clearly making preperations for the innevitible, painful and imminent bankruptcy of Saab cars.
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