Chinese get Saab back on track

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Troubled Swedish car manufacturer Saab may be able to resume production next week, thanks to an investment of 120 million euros by China’s Hawtai Motor Group.

Dutchman Victor Muller, the head of Saab’s parent company Spyker Cars, says he expects to receive the full amount within 12 weeks.

Production at Saab ground to a halt three weeks ago when the company had trouble paying its suppliers. The Chinese investment in Saab/Spyker consists of a €30 million loan and payment in exchange for a share of 29.9 percent in the company.

Mr Muller also announced that from 2013 Saab will start producing cars in China, in cooperation with Hawtai. Until that time, the Chinese will import Swedish-built Saabs, leading to an increase in production at Sweden’s Trollhättan plant.

Spyker announced last week that the three-week gap in production means the company will no longer be able to meet its 2011 sales target of 80,000 Saabs.

He also said that an existing agreement with BMW for the supply of engines to Saab would not stand in the way of cooperation with Hawtai. “These BMW engines are already fully available in China,” he assured.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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