Posts Tagged ‘SAAB’

JAS Gripen 39E – A “6th generation” stealth fighter with anti-stealth radar

May 15, 2016

Saab’s JAS Gripen Next Generation (NG or E/F) has been called the “planet’s best stealth fighter and a step improved from Lockheed Martin’s F-35. 

The reason that the JAS 39E may earn “sixth generation” tag is that it has been designed with these issues in mind. Software comes first: the new hardware runs the latest Mission System 21 software, the latest roughly-biennial release in the series that started with the earlier, A and B models of the aircraft. 

Long life requires adaptability, both across missions and through-life. The Gripen was designed as a small aircraft with a relatively large payload. And by porting most of the software to the new version, the idea is that all of the C and D models’ weapons and capabilities, and then some, are ready to go on the E. 

The Swedes have invested in state-of-the-art sensors, including what may be the first in-service electronic warfare system using gallium nitride technology. It’s significant that a lot of space is devoted to the system used to pick out friendly from hostile aircraft; a good IFF (“identification friend-or-foe”) system is most important in a confused situation where civilian, friendly, neutral, questionable and hostile actors are sharing the same airspace.

The first Gripen E is to be unveiled in the coming week on May 18th.

It’s supposed to have “anti-stealth” radar (of course if anti-stealth radar becomes standard it makes “stealth” obsolete). Which means that “deep stealth” will have to be developed next and when that can be detected, the defence industry – like physicists – will have to go looking for “dark stealth”.

But it looks good.

JAS Gripen 39NG test aircraft - image Saab

JAS Gripen 39NG test aircraft – image Saab


Victor Muller’s Spyker turns a profit after Saab’s bankruptcy

April 30, 2012

After driving Saab into bankruptcy it seems that Victor Muller’s Spyker will still come out of it pretty well. Accounting gymnastics will give Spyker (Saab’s former owner) a profit of some 140 million kronor (€16 million).

Svenska Dagbladet reports (free translation):

Saab Automobile’s bankruptcy has a shortfall of over nine billion kronor (€900 million) and many creditors will not get a penny. But Saab’s former owner, Spyker, has managed to show a profit of over 140 million kronor just because of the Saab bankruptcy. “It sounds very strange that Spyker makes a profit because of Saab’s bankruptcy. But we don’t know what lies behind and what legal documents were drawn up between the companies”, said Marie Karlsson Tuula, associate professor of civil law and specialist in bankruptcy matters. ….


Following Indian MMRCA success, Dassaut’s Rafale also tipped for Brazil

February 13, 2012
Dassault’s success in being selected as the lowest bidder for the Indian MMRCA competition with the Rafale aircraft seems to be having a significant impact in other deals. The Rafale is now the most likely winner of the Brazilian contract for 36 aircraft. The aggressive pricing by Dassault and the active (and very effective) lobbying by the French government is a potent combination. The Rafale has not yet been sold outside France and the Indian and Brazilian deals are critical for the future export life of the Rafale.
In Brazil the Rafale is competing against Boeing’s F-18 and Saab’s Gripen. Though Saab is also desperately looking for export orders for the Gripen, it is unlikely that it can afford to drop its prices by the levels that Dassault obviously can. Boeing on the other hand is not so dependent on the Brazilian orders and is unlikely to drop its price by very much – especially since they will not wish to disturb the already very high price levels they enjoy for exports to the Middle-East. And that probably leaves the Rafale sitting very pretty.

Svenska Dagbladet reports (freely translated):


No GM licence to a Chinese-owned SAAB

November 7, 2011

Victor Roberto Muller has already tweeted that he is going back to the “drawing board” !!

But the pictures he draws are all illustrations for fairy tales.


General Motors Co said on Monday it had decided to sever its ties to Saab and its commitment to supply it with vehicle components and the 9-4X model because of the risks posed by the pending sale of the Swedish auto brand to Chinese owners.

“Although General Motors is open to the continued supply of powertrains and other components to Saab under appropriate terms and conditions, GM will not agree to the continuation of the existing technology licenses or the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles to Saab following the proposed change in ownership as it would not be in the best interests of GM shareholders,” GM spokesman Jim Cain said. ….

On Friday, GM had said that it would be difficult to support a sale of Saab if it hurt GM’s competitive position in Chinaand other key markets.

China’s Pang Da Automobile Trade Co and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile have struck a deal to buy Saab from its current Dutch owner, Swedish Automobile , in what amounts to a rescue plan for the Swedish auto brand formerly owned by GM.

But the deal had to be approved by GM, which still has preference shares in Saab and has supplied the Swedish auto brand with crucial components. …

The new deal which had been announced last week was for 100% ownership to pass to the Chinese. When asked if GM licences would be available if the plan went back to the Chinese buying just 53.9% of Saab – as originally envisaged – the GM spokesman refused to speculate.

Victor Muller and the millions he has extracted from Saab while it dies

October 27, 2011

Saab is on its last legs but it appears from an investigation conducted by Swedish Television (SVT) that Victor Muller has rewarded himself handsomely even while supplier bills have been unpaid. Muller has little substance in his history but a long track record of grand schemes and – it seems to me – very gullible investors. Employees in his various loss-making companies have continued in the false hopes that Muller is so good at building up. They would seem to have a misplaced loyalty to their brands but instead have actually been relying on an unreliable Muller.

SVT  (free translation):

SVT Report has investigated the complex transactions between Saab, Saab’s parent company and Victor Muller’s private companies. His compensation through bonuses, salary, equity, and professional fees add up to 18 million Kronor. This is at the same level as Leif Johansson the former CEO of Sweden’s largest company Volvo Trucks, where Volvo Trucks has about  90,000 employees while Saab has fewer than 3000 employees. 

Saab has also paid Victor Muller’s invoices even while supplier’s bills have remained unpaid. Saab’s annual report details consultancy fees of 4 million kronor including a bonus of 1.76 million to a company that Muller controls – Latin America Tug Holding registered on the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. …..  Saab’s parent company has paid consultancy fees of €550 000 and an additional bonus of €508,571, making a total of about 10 million kronor to Victor Muller. He has also received 120,000 shares that he has sold for nearly four million kronor.
Beyond that, Saab’s parent company has bought services from companies affiliated with Victor Muller for nearly seven million. Victor Muller also has very attractive interest rate agreements for the money his company has lent to Saab. The interest on loans is set at EURIBOR plus 6 -10 percent. This means that Saab could have paid him around 12per cent interest on the loans.
Swedish Television have not been able to reach Victor Muller.

Sucking blood from a dying company.


Victor Muller’s Chinese investors for Saab are evaporating

October 12, 2011

Victor Muller is still carrying on with the Saab circus and has been constantly talking up the Chinese investments due to be paid in at any moment. But this has been going on for a long time and now Reuters reports that the Chinese application to make the investment has not even been submitted to the Chinese  National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for approval. Such approvals can take a long time and if the application has not even been submitted it totally undermines all the “fairy stories” that Muller has been spinning.

Muller is contradicting Reuters but I am afraid his statements are bordering on fantasy and I prefer to believe that Reuters have got it right.

Reuters reports today:

Pangda Automobile Trade Co , China’s largest listed auto dealer, said on Wednesday its investment agreement with Saab had become void after the Swedish car maker sought bankruptcy protection.

But the Dutch owner of the troubled firm later offered conflicting details, saying the 245 million euro ($352 million) deal with Pangda and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co was still valid. ….

…  Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an industry forum in Chengdu, Pangda chairman Pang Qinghua said, “Now that it’s in bankruptcy protection, all the previous pacts are not valid. It’s up to the court to decide. It can also find a new partner”Pang added that the Chinese side has not yet submitted a proposal to the Chinese government regarding the Saab deal.

But in a text message sent to Reuters, Swedish Automobile NV CEO Victor Muller said simply: “On track with both Pangda and Youngman”. In June, Saab’s owner had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co to take a 29.9 percent stake in the company and Pangda to take a 24 percent stake for a combined 245 million euros.

Saab has still not received a vital bridge loan of 70 million euros ($96 million) that was secured by Youngman, money that is key to its short-term survival. The investment hinges on approval from the Chinese and Swedish governments and a green light from the European Investment Bank and Saab shareholder General Motors . Asked on Wednesday whether the deal had been submitted to China’s National Development and Reform Commission for approval, Pangda’s chairman said: “Youngman’s Pang Qingnian is the one that is supposed to send the application to NDRC. As far as I know, he is soliciting opinion among industry experts regarding the deal, they are not done with it yet.”

Pangda had already paid 45 million euros to Saab for a separate deal to purchase 2,000 cars but had not received any cars due to a production halt since April.

“As for the cash injection (into Saab), I can do that only after the government approves the deal,” Pang said on Wednesday.

So with Youngman and Pangda not submitting their application to NDRC and since they need to have such approval, the only conclusion that one can draw is that any new Chinese investment money is never going to come and that Victor Muller is continuing to play a game. The Swedish Courts were remarkably lenient in allowing Muller to attempt another reconstruction of the company just after the earlier attempt at reconstruction had failed. Hopefully the courts will now have had enough of Muller’s representations of forthcoming support and investments which always seem to be grossly exaggerated and – in some cases – just untrue.


Volvo owner Geely denies reported interest in Saab 

Saab being pimped around the world by Victor Muller

Where are Muller’s Saab shares going?

August 22, 2011

The end-game for Saab is being played out and I can’t help feeling that – unlike for Gaddafi – this end-game is still one designed by Vladimir Antonov and implemented by Victor Muller. Svenska Dagbladet reports today:

Confidence in Saab is faltering as two major car dealers have stopped selling Saab in Sweden and also in the U.S. 

Meanwhile Victor Muller is “lending” his private shares to the fund that recently bought newly issued and discounted Saab shares to raise cash to pay salaries. And  it seems that to avoid the dilution of shares a complicated deal is being done with Muller’s shares

Saab (actually the parent company Swedish Automobile) in August, in a last desperate measure, used cash from GEM fund to pay salaries. GEM’s business is to buy newly printed shares at a discount and then sell them at a profit on the open market. This provided Saab with a needed cash injection, but was also a dangerous dilution with the risk that the stock price would go down.

The Dutch financial agency AFM, has said that now Victor Muller has got rid of almost half of his shares, 3.3 million and converted them into stock options along with 2.5 million unlisted class A shares.

“I sold zero shares, but lent my shares to GEM to allow them to sell them. I get non-listed A shares of the Company as compensation” Muller said in a an SMS text message. According to the AFM, it means at this time that Muller’s influence has decreased from 8.5 million to 3.6 million voting shares. According to Muller, the options are now directly convertible into A shares. “There is an instant convert to A shares and there are no conditions associated with stock options” he writes in his SMS.

Worker’s wages are due on Thursday and white-collar employees should be paid on Friday. Saab itself has been emptied of cash and assets and this may be another ploy. Of course money Muller raises by lending his own shares is cash to his private account. It can only get into Saab’s coffers if he provides a secure loan of some kind to Saab and I am sure he will not lose out as other creditors will in the event of an insolvency.

In the meantime Swedish authorities – the Swedish Enforcement Administration, or Kronofogden – have launched an official debt collection probe of  Saab where unpaid bills have been piling up for months as a first step in what could end in bankruptcy. Kronofogden’s Hans Ryberg announced last week that the probe results from the unpaid bills of  Sweden’s Infotiv, owed 224,000 kronor, and of Norway’s Kongsberg, owed 145,000 kronor.

Production has been at a standstill since April.

Related: Saab being plundered by Victor Muller and his friends

Saab being plundered by Victor Muller and his friends

August 18, 2011

Travelling for a few days and have to be brief.

I am pretty sure that Saab has already been plundered by Victor Muller and his friends and has been left with with very little in the way of assets or cash. It looks like the board members of Saab’s owners increased their directors fees by obscene amounts while Saab has been struggling for cash.

Dagens Industri 

Svenska Dagbladet  


Victor Muller’s games continue: Are the new Saab shares ending up in Russian hands?


Victor Muller’s games continue: Are the new Saab shares ending up in Russian hands?

August 16, 2011

Victor Muller is at his games again even as Saab’s cash crunch continues. He has delayed payments to employees, suppliers, creditors and even the tax-man. The China card seems to be played out. Suppliers who start proceedings for bankruptcy get priority in getting paid. Workers get priority in getting their wages before white-collar employees. The trade unions are desperate and go along with anything as they hope for some miraculous solution. Russian “black” money – which needs to be laundered somewhere – is waiting to swoop through the back-door even if it has been barred entrance through the front-door. My own opinion is that even the initial liquidity crisis was engineered by Victor Muller by shifting cash out of Saab.

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 is his own end-game or one where he is just a proxy for his Russian masters.

Svenska Dagbladet reports:

Saab is issuing freshly printed shares at a loss to the U.S. investment fund GEM (Global Yield Fund Limited), which then sell them on at a profit. An arrangement made for the short term to pay salaries and debts. Saab is now selling four million new shares for just under 40 million Swedish kronor. GEM also purchased shares in a new issue on 3rd August – when 5 million new shares were sold in a desperate move to pay the salaries of Saab employees.

Not only are GEM well paid (because they are taking a big risk), they are also diluting the ownership of Saab’s other shareholders. In fact, these 10 million shares conveyed in a short time to GEM represents almost a third of the total shares. GEM acts only as intermediary and who is actually buying is a mystery.

GEM Yield Funds Ltd. buys shares for 90 percent of their value and then sells them on. These shares are then traded in Amsterdam. Using GEM is considered a very expensive way for Saab to raise cash but there are few options left. Issuing just another 10 million new shares could dilute the ownership sufficiently for a single owner of just the new shares to have a majority stake. And that for less than a total of 80 million kronor (about $13 million). Whether production will ever restart is looking increasingly unlikely – at least for Saab in its present form. What would happen to Saab if it ever came fully under the control of Vladimir Antonov is anybody’s guess. I suspect that Saab’s fate would then be connected more to being a money-laundering centre than to the production of quality cars. I would not be in the least surprised to find that the newly issued shares are ending up in Russian hands. The mark-up that GEM charges is probably worthwhile and represents an acceptable discount for the laundering of “funny” money.

Related: Let Saab die with some dignity

Let Saab die with some dignity

June 24, 2011

Victor Muller continues pimping Saab around the world and dragging it through the mud to a slow and undignified demise — all just to satisfy his own inflated ego. He continues jetting around the world ostensibly to find new money to rescue Saab but he has never addressed the fundamentals. Saab now cannot pay its workers  (but Muller took out a fat bonus on the grounds that Saab had achieved 80% of its business plan!!!!!).

There are demands from the unions that the government should step in — one wonders why and to what purpose? Or that the government should allow Russian dirty money into the company. But these are both incredibly  short-sighted suggestions and little more than the empty posturings of an obsolete and  decadent trade union.

The fundamentals don’t work and subsidising Saab with taxpayer money is no solution. For 12 years I always drove a Saab (a Saab 9000 and later Saab 9.5’s) and I admire the car and the brand which is still strong. But the cars are no longer competitive and it is time to end the agony and call it a day.

From the FT:

Labour unions have threatened legal action after the owners of Saab, the struggling Swedish carmaker, said it could no longer pay employees’ wages.

Netherlands-based Swedish Automobile – which used to be known as Spyker Cars – said that Saab Automobile, which it owns, would be unable to pay employees’ wages because it had not yet obtained the short-term funding that it was seeking.

The news will fuel doubts about the survival of Saab. Production at its plant in Trollhättan, north of Gothenburg, has been closed for most of the past two months because of a dispute with suppliers over unpaid bills.

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