Spyker: Saab not about to collapse image

Victor Muller, CEO of Dutch carmaker Spyker Cars, the company that bought Saab Automobiles from General Motors last year, dismissed concerns about the financial health of its Swedish brand, Saab Automobile, saying it “is not on the verge of collapse.”

Saab, based in western Sweden, had to stop production for three days after suppliers stopped deliveries due to unpaid bills. The problems, which Spyker has said are now solved, raised question marks about the company’s finances.

“Saab is still producing and it is not on the verge of collapse,” Muller said at a news conference “A small glitch does not change the fact that cars are being made.”

Saab president and chief executive Jan Ake Jonsson, who unexpectedly announced his retirement two weeks ago, said the company had faced a tightening in liquidity in the second half of the quarter but was working to solve the problem.

According to Spyker’s annual report, Saab spent EUR123mn (US$175mn) last year, resulting in negative equity of EUR206.5mn (US$294mn).It has a reserve cash pile of only EUR67.4mn and cash equivalents of EUR70mn.

Most of the 80,000 cars Saab aims to sell this year will come in the second half as the company is releasing two new models in the next few months, the 51-year old Dutchman said. Saab is starting production next month of the 9-4X, its first crossover, to compete with Audi’s Q5 and with Bmw’s X3.