Suppliers Halt Shipments to Saab Interrupting Production

Issue is supply terms and payments

Saab said on March 29 that it had been forced to interrupt production the previous day due to problems with suppliers. Saab's new Dutch owner Spyker said production had resumed on March 30 at the factory in Trollhattan, in southwest Sweden, and assured that Saab "has sufficient means to meet its immediate liquidity needs."

"Certain suppliers halted supplies to Saab Automobile pending discussions about payments and supply terms," Spyker said.

Saab Automobile continues to work on longer term solutions to further strengthen its financial position and improve its capital structure. "Saab Automobile expects to resolve these issues in the short term, also to prevent any further disruptions in supply," it added.

The incident comes the week after Saab announced that its managing director Jan-Aake Jonsson was leaving for personal reasons.

Spyker also announced on March 25 that its losses had multiplied in 2010, soaring to 218 million euros (US$309 million) for the year, against a loss of 23 million euros in 2009.

General Motors owned Saab for 20 years but the Swedish company never made a profit during that period. In 2009, output plunged to 38,756 vehicles from 93,000 in 2008. Spyker came in early last year and bought Saab from GM for $400 million.

Despite all the problems Spyker still has high ambitions for Saab. Spyker hopes to boost production way up 80,000 this year, but still expects annual losses before a return to the black in 2012.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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