Saab is in trouble? Unpaid suppliers shut down the assembly line for lack of payment
Unpaid suppliers shut down the assembly line for lack of payment on overdue bills from Saab. The Saab Sweden plan got back to normal after a day long shut down that was sparked when suppliers refused to deliver parts because of outstanding bills that Saab hadn't paid. Saab officials said they were working to "resolve" the bills but the shut down may well be a sign of Saab's continuing financial problems, according to a recent article in the Detroit Bureau. After the GM bankruptcy in 2009 the Saab operation starting shutting down when the Spyker company came along and bought it up. Spyker was then a builder of low-volume supercars. Since starting back up again though, Saab has struggled to get back in the black and rebuild a dealer network that ended up being mostly empty buildings. Then, in February this year Spyker sold the operation to Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov and that was quickly followed by the announcement of a $200 million loss. Then, just weeks ago, the Saab CEO announced plans to retire. Talk about a sinking ship. The Russian businessman, though, says he thinks the company can make a profit as a low volume builder of cars. Problem is, of course, it has to keep those parts coming to stay in business. And that means paying suppliers. And that means selling cars to get the money to pay suppliers. And that means having a network of dealers. And that means having models of cars for them to sell. It's a vicious circle that so far hasn't been successfully mastered. We hate to see any car company go under, anytime. But GM and Chrysler certainly taught the American public that "business is just business" so when you get ready to buy a new car, be careful you don't end up sobbing over your Saab. Meanwhile, if you've got a lemon Saab, maybe you want to get rid of it quick - while there's still a company to try to get your money out of.