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Suppliers lose patience with Saab

The Saab saga took yet another new twist on Friday when several suppliers to the carmaker warned staff of possible redundancies.

Suppliers lose patience with Saab

With Saab and Chinese firm Hawtai attempting to resume talks in the hope of resurrecting a deal, suppliers DHL and the IAC have warned their staff of the impending job cuts, while a third supplier Semcon, which has around 60 engineers at Saab, has withdrawn its staff and moved them on to other projects.

“It looked promising with Hawtai, but now that there is no contract, we cannot have people there that we are not getting paid for,” said Semcon’s CEO Kjell Nilsson.

Meanwhile, Svenska Dagbladet reports that they have seen an e-mail in which the Chinese automaker Youngman Automobile was prepared to pay some 200-300 million Euros as late as the end of April in cash, as an initial investment in Saab.

Daily business newpaper Dagens Industri has also pointed to the Chinese carmaker as a possible solution, although a spokesperson for Youngman said on Friday that they were unaware of any talks with Saab so far.

Despite the setback during the week, Saab Chairman Victor Muller has not yet given up hope of a deal with Hawtai. The Chinese company said that the proposed agreement broke down because of commercial and economic factors, not a lack of approvals from the government and that the interest is still there.

Finding a way to cooperate with the Saab is a top priority for Hawtai, according to a press release.

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CARS

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.