Losses continue for Saab owner Spyker

Saab Automobile owner Spyker Cars reported a net loss of €76.3 million ($113 million) for the first quarter, but sales of the iconic Swedish brand shows signs of upward swing.

Losses continue for Saab owner Spyker

Overall sales income rose to €257 million, up from €44 million for the same quarter last year, while a total of 9,674 cars were sold in the first three months of 2011.

According to Spyker’s quarterly report, March was the best sales months for Saab since the Swedish automaker became independent from its previous owner, US auto giant General Motors (GM).

“It’s in line with our forecast,” Saab spokesperson Eric Geers told the TT news agency.

“In March we had the best sales month since Saab started as an independent company.”

In addition, a total of 10,088 cars were produced during the quarter.

The stoppage which has idled Saab production for the last three weeks due to liquidity problems means the company’s goal of selling 80,000 cars in 2011 “is no longer feasible”, Spyker CEO Victor Muller admitted.

Even if the company’s management attempts to paint a rosy picture for the remainder of the year when a new model is expected to come out on the market, Spyker is expected to continue posting losses throughout 2011.

“A lot of things have happened recently and that’s going to have an t. But we have a lot going on right now and hope that we’ll come out of this situation as soon as possible so we can get going again with production and sales,” said Geers.

In the hunt for long-term financing solutions, leaders from Saab Automobile have been in discussions with potential strategic investors in China and elsewhere, Spyker writes in its report.

Ahead of its May 19th general meeting, Spyker Cars has proposed changing its name to Swedish Automobile.

Spyker shares fell by 5 percent in initial trading in Amsterdam on Friday, but recovered quickly, trading down 1 percent five minutes after the market opened.

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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.