When all was thought lost and Swedish automaker Saab was again on the brink of collapse, help came through at the eleventh hour — this time in the form of a cash infusion from China’s Pang Da. While Pang Da CEO Pang Qinghua toured the plant this morning, Saab restarted its production line, aiming to produce 100 cars today and resume normal production by Monday.
Saab has had a tumultuous past year-and-a-half, after being bought by Spyker (now Swedish Automobile), experiencingnumerous production hang-ups, rising debt, and failed deals to help secure the company’s fiscal foundation. While this new agreement with Pang Da holds promise, it has not been finalized yet, and still awaits an all-clear from regulators. That said, the Chinese company has already made an advanced payment of €30 million to purchase Saab vehicles, which Pang Da will distribute in the China. The final approvals needed for the deal, which is valued at up to $153.7 million, will come from the Chinese and Swedish governments and the European Investment Bank.
Saab says that it already has over 8100 outstanding orders for cars from when its production was shut down for the 9-3, 9-5, and 9-3X models (the new 9-4X crossover continued production, as it is built by GM at its facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico). Saab expects some hiccups in reestablishing its former production pace, seeing as the stop was largely attributed to suppliers halting delivery of parts and services due to overdue payments.
Source: Saab, Automotive News (Subscription required)