The folks at Swedish Automobile — the parent company of Saab Automobile — are nothing if not persistent. Despite seeking (and not receiving) bankruptcy protection from Sweden last week, the automaker continues to scrape up funding.
How? By hawking technology, including that tied to future products. Saab claims it’s managed to find a way to craft a bridge loan with Chinese automaker Youngman Lotus — one of two parties involved in a $359 million deal that’s still waiting to clear regulatory hurdles — through a new special purpose entity. If all goes according to plan, Saab could rake in $96 million, while Youngman could receive rights to use and modify the Phoenix architecture — the platform expected to underpin the next-generation 9-3.
Good news, but there are still a few hurdles yet. First, Youngman will likely need to receive blessing from China’s regulatory boards, which are notoriously slow in granting consent. Further, $96 million isn’t really enough to run a car company, especially one that’s close to $210 million in the hole.
Theoretically, the loan could help tide the company over until the Chinese regulatory bodies vote on the $359 million investment — which, according to Automotive News, officials have a “good feeling” about. Still, the window to receive an okay is growing increasingly slim, thanks to yet another development in the Swedish drama.
Two of Sweden’s labor unions — Unionen and Ledarna — have filed petitions with the government to force the automaker into bankruptcy proceedings, largely since their members employed at Saab haven’t received wages for the entire month of August. Two additional labor unions are considering filing for the same, but are waiting to see if Saab’s appeal for bankruptcy protection, which was just submitted to the Swedish court system, is approved before proceeding any further.
Source: Saab, Automotive News (Subscription required)