After a seven-week shutdown that began on April 6, Saab vehicles have once again begun rolling down the assembly line at the automaker's Trollhattan, Sweden home plant. A variety of financial issues had pushed the troubled Swedish automaker to the brink of collapse before new working capital arrived in the form of a €30 million marketing deal with Chinese auto distributor, Pang Da. The agreement -- which came after a previous deal with China's Hawtai Motors fell apart -- will result in Saab's current owner, Dutch-based Spyker Cars NV, transferring 24 percent of its own stock to Pang Da in return for €65 million of additional financing.
Although keeping Saab solvent will continue to require a good deal of diligence and an equal measure of approvals from various government and banking groups, Victor Muller, CEO and chairman of Saab Automobile, noted: "We will work hard in the coming period to regain confidence and show our ability to become a successful car maker. We are fortunate that we are in the middle of the largest-ever product offensive in the company's history. Last year we launched the all-new Saab 9-5 Saloon, while the 9-3 model year 2012 range went on sale earlier this year. The new Saab 9-4X, our first crossover, has enjoyed raving reviews from motoring media and we already sold all 9-4X cars for model year 2011. After the summer, we start delivering the much-awaited Saab 9-5 SportWagon to customers."
Muller says Saab currently has orders for over 6,500 cars from the Trollhattan facility and over 8,000 units worldwide, including 1,300 vehicles that will be headed to China as part of the Pang Da deal. The first cars to roll off the reactivated Saab line were a 9-5x AWD and a 9-3 Convertible.