NEW YORK – Swedish carmaker Saab says it hopes to resume production next week after output was halted because of parts shortages after some suppliers stopped deliveries over unpaid bills.
"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 CEO 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 CEO of Saab's North America operations. Saab Automobile is owned by Zeewolde, Netherlands-based Spyker Cars NV.