Saab fights liquidity crisis while Victor Muller plays a game

Victor Muller, Founder and CEO of Spyker Cars,...

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SAAB’s production has ground to a halt again and will probably not start again for a week because suppliers are not being paid and they are stopping supplies. But Victor Muller still gets his bonus for following the business plan which suggests that the cash crisis is being engineered.

Over the weekend, Victor Muller was very critical of the suppliers who stopped deliveries when they didn’t get paid and accused them of carrying out negotiations in the media. He denied that SAAB Automobiles had any long standing liquidity crisis and that they were merely renegotiating supplier terms and conditions.

But a continuing shortage of supplies has caused the production line at SAAB to have stopped again and it may stand still till next Tuesday. It seems clear that Victor Muller will drive SAAB to the verge of bankruptcy to ensure that Vladimir Antonov can be seen as a rescuing angel and allowed in as SAAB’s owner. He may even drive it through a bankruptcy. Whether it is Victor Muller just playing his games or whether it is a strategy being directed by Antonov is not clear. But cash flow is the fundamental basis of any business plan of substance and it seems apparent to me that a good part of the cash crunch is being engineered by Muller / Spyker and probably Antonov.

Is cash crunch just a ruse to get SAAB into Russian ownership?

Dagens Industri reports:

On Tuesday Automaker Saab stopped production at the plant in Trollhättan. Sources said that the stop will be extended until Tuesday next week. Yesterday’s stop is the third in a week, and is caused by the car manufacturer’s problems in paying subcontractors on time.

Saab’s CIO Eric Geers would not confirm that production will be stationary for that long, but said that production has stopped until the material problems are solved. The company is working right now to resolve the funding issue.

“We are working really hard to find a solution and are trying to get started as quickly as possible. At the same time we want to get rid of this jerky production flow, “he says.

…….  Saab management’s way of responding to concerns and criticism on this occasion has not been the best.

Meanwhile Svenska Dagbladet reported:

Victor Muller regrets that Saab presented a target for number of vehicles to be produced and distributed. Last year the forecast had to be reduced twice, which increased uncertainties regarding the company’s survival power. “It’s our own fault. We should never have gone out with some predictions. It’s so easy to measure that all else is lost sight of. The fact that we stayed within the business plan is ignored.

Retiring CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, admits that liquidity has become more strained in the second half of the first quarter. “There are a number of different reasons and I can not go into these because a variety of partners are involved”, he said before a large number of journalists who come to Saab’s spring exhibition. Jonsson stated that Saab has been very, very close to the expectations of the business plan. “In relation to the lower sales, we have managed to keep costs low”.

That they stayed within the business plan is the reason that both Muller and Jonsson got bonuses though Saab made a net loss of nearly two billion kronor last year. Victor Muller has no qualms in maintaining his 4.5 million kronor ($0.7 million) in bonus on top of his salary and other benefits. Overall, it means that he got a remuneration in 2010 worth around 14 million kronor ($2.2 million), according to Dagens Industri.

Of course Muller does not explain how they managed to stay within the business plan but ran out of cash. Or perhaps cash flow was not included in his business plan.

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4 Responses to “Saab fights liquidity crisis while Victor Muller plays a game”

  1. Saab motors being degraded on life support – euthanasia would be better « The k2p blog Says:

    […] But Saab Motors is now on life support and in the hands of a Victor Muller who resembles a quack doctor extracting every bit he can from a dying patient. Saab’s production has been halted while new transfusions of money are being desperately sought – from very strange and dubious Russian and Chinese sources. The employees continue to hope and their attempts to push back the day of reckoning is perfectly understandable. But the fundamental reality is that not enough Saab cars are bought and it has become too expensive for what it is. The technology is still superb but in the meantime the Saab brand is being dragged through mud and manure. […]

  2. Future history for the next 2 weeks « The k2p blog Says:

    […] but none of his companies have ever made a profit though he personally has made a little fortune. One month ago I wrote:  “It seems clear that Victor Muller will drive SAAB to the verge of bankruptcy to ensure […]

  3. Saabiewoman Says:

    Victor is a complete egomaniac pig who has his two blonde bimbos following him all over the U.S. while his wife of 6 children sits at home. Many of us in agencies witnessed this first hand, Washington, Pebble Beach, LA, NY, his Yacht….What a complete pig…. no respect for the man at all. In fact I wouldn’t even call him a “man”. Now he’s playing with the lives of thousands of hard working people. Hope someone saves Saab from the “quack doctor”.

  4. Victor Muller’s games continue: Are the new Saab shares ending up in Russian hands? « The k2p blog Says:

    […] He is now engaged in the final desperate end-game at Saab (but of course without risking any of his own personal wealth). The question is whether it his end-game or one where he is just a proxy for his Russian masters. […]

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