LOS ANGELES – Saab's owner Swedish Automobile is in "real and substantive" talks with potential investors, the automaker's North American president said.
"There are talks going on," Tim Colbeck told Reuters. "Real and substantive talks."
Last week, a Swedish business daily reported that a big American investor was planning to go in as a part owner in cash-strapped Saab. The company declined to comment on the article.
Fears over the survival of Saab, rescued from closure early last year, have ebbed and flowed as Swedish Automobile chases funding. Its production line has been closed since late April.
Saab prevented a fresh bankruptcy threat on August. 5 by finding money to pay its workers. Last week, U.S.-based GEM Global Yield Fund Ltd agreed to buy about 5 million new shares in Swedish Automobile for just under 7 million euros.
Saab was one of the victims of the post-2008 auto industry crisis that forced its then parent General Motors Co. into a decision to close the business down. Swedish Automobile, then called Spyker Cars NV, put a rescue package together in early 2010 with help from European funding and guarantees from the Swedish government.
Saab ready to relaunch brand
Colbeck, speaking on Tuesday, declined to name the investors with whom the company is negotiating, but said Saab was ready to take on the challenge of relaunching the brand.
He also said in an interview that production at Swedish factories is slated to start up again on Aug. 29.
Colbeck said during an earlier presentation here that the company is on track to receive permission from China for the automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co and Chinese car distributor Pang Da investments in late September.
A business plan and feasibility plan are due to be submitted to the Chinese government in "a couple weeks," he said.
Swedish Automobile CEO Victor Muller has insisted that the future remains bright for Saab with new cars coming out and the Chinese orders in the books, but industry analysts have said Saab's small size will make it difficult for the company to compete.