Swedish brand Saab, still mired in financial distress, secures an all-cash deal for over $18 million in cars. How long will the cash last? The story inside.
Saab has secured a €13 million ($18.4 million) sale of 582 vehicles, according to the automaker. Cash from the sale to an unnamed Chinese firm is expected to be delivered later this week, in advance of delivery.
Victor Muller, CEO of Saab's Dutch parent company, acknowledged that the firm is little more than "short-term funding" and will mainly be used to pay "employees' wages before the end of the month", according to a statement released this week.
Employees of Saab went public with payroll issues at the firm, with many saying they were simply not being paid. Labor unions representing the workers have discussed the possibility of legal action because of this. Non-payment of wages could result in the automaker being declared bankrupt by the Swedish courts.
It is not clear if Saab's quick sale resulted in any steep retail discounts to the all-cash buyer of the 582 vehicles, or if any rebates were arranged to be paid at a later date.
The money will do little to solve Saab's long running financial problems that date back to GM's 21-year ownership of the brand, which saw the Swedish automaker consistently release underperforming vehicles. GM sold off Saab in 2010 amidst their recent financial crisis.
Saab's parent has made a deal to sell off a portion of the firm to businesses in China, but regulatory agencies in Asia and Europe have yet to approve of the plan.