It’s been the most difficult period in Saab’s 74 year history and for Saab GB, who have successfully traded in the company’s second largest European market for over 50 years. But today a voluntary decision was taken to place Saab Great Britain Ltd into administration, protecting the interests of its creditors and enabling talks to continue over its future financing.
Companies usually enter voluntary administration when its creditors become impatient and initiate legal proceedings to recover their debts. Where a company has ceased trading, the process is designed to administer the orderly liquidation of a company’s assets and the fair distribution of any cash which can be recovered. But this does not appear to be the case for Saab GB – there is still demand for its cars – but it lacks the financing to operate its business and pay its staff.
In a statement released this afternoon, the company announced that “..with immediate effect, David Dunckley and Daniel Taylor of Grant Thornton UK LLP have been appointed joint administrators of Saab GB.”
Saab GB, which is a 100% subsidiary of Swedish Automobile N.V. (“Swan”), has exclusive rights to distribute Saab cars and parts in the UK. It employs 55 people in Milton Keynes and distributes the cars and parts to a 58 strong dealer network across the UK of which 20 are “Saab only” sites. Saab City, a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab GB employing 65 people, operates two Saab motor dealerships, one in Wapping and a smaller site in Fulham.
Swan continues discussions with potential investors regarding the sale of Saab Automobile AB and Saab Great Britain Limited, but one would have to express doubt that a solution will be found. Nevertheless, the administrators are under no duty to quickly close the business, unless of course the value available to its creditors is at serious risk.
A Saab GB customer hotline has been set up on 0845 300 9593 or you can visit www.saab.co.uk for further details.