Saab Automobile Aims to Resume Vehicle Production Next Week

Saab Automobile, the carmaker that was forced to halt vehicle assembly amid a payment dispute with suppliers, said it hopes to resume production next week.

“Probably next week, that’s what we’re aiming for,” Matthias Seidl, vice president of global sales at Saab, said today in an interview in New York.

The Swedish government approved a finance plan, with conditions, for the Trollhaettan, Sweden-based automaker last week, freeing up collateral used by Saab to back a loan from the European Investment Bank.

Saab first suspended manufacturing on March 29 after component makers stopped deliveries and demanded payment. Saab Chief Executive Officer Jan-Aake Jonsson said April 4 that the carmaker’s liquidity “became more strained” during the second half of the first quarter.

The finance plan still needs to be cleared by the European Investment Bank and faces certain conditions, Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s industry minister, said last week. If approved, it would give Saab some breathing space while it awaits a government decision on whether it can bring in Russian banker Vladimir Antonov as an investor.

Saab is talking with its suppliers and hopes to resume receiving parts by the end of the week, said Seidl, who is serving as the interim chief operating officer of Saab’s North America operations.

Saab Automobile is owned by Zeewolde, Netherlands-based Spyker Cars NV. (SPYKR)

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Higgins in New York City at thiggins21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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