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Saab production resumes in Sweden

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Saab production resumes in Sweden
07:41 CEST+02:00
After seven-weeks of silence, the assembly lines at Saab Automobile's factory in Trollhättan in western Sweden rumbled to life again on Friday thanks to help from new Chinese partner Pang Da.

Production at the facility, which has been shuttered for nearly two months as the Swedish automaker struggled to deal with a prolonged liquidity crisis, resumed around 10:30am on Friday, according to a statement from Saab-owner Spyker

A delegation from China's Pang Da, including CEO Pang Qinghua, was on hand for the occasion.

Pang Da's initial transfer of €30 million ($42 million) for the purchase of 1,300 cars, provided Saab with the funding needed to restart production.

On Thursday, Qinghua, along with Saab chair Victor Muller, meet with Sweden's enterprise minister Maud Olofsson to discuss the new arrangement between the Swedish automaker and the Chinese distributor.

Previously, Saab-owner Spyker has described Pang Da as "China's largest publicly traded automobile distributor with over 1,100 dealerships nationwide".

Following the meeting, which Muller described as "excellent", Olofsson said she felt the exchange of information had been useful.

"Pang Da spoke of the possibilities they see for Saab to enter the Chinese market. The company is an interesting partner considering that sales are what Saab needs to increase," she told the TT news agency.

Olofsson also inquired about the future of Saab production in Sweden.

"They answered that even if Saab has production in China, production in Sweden will continue to be important," she said.

According to an initial framework agreement, Pang Da will take an equity stake in Spyker of €65 million at €4.19 per share, representing up to 24 percent of Spyker's outstanding shares.

While the first €30 million is enough to get production moving, the final details of the agreement still need to be ironed out.

In addition, Sweden's National Debt Office (Riksgälden) must approve Pang Da's eventual ownership stake. While representatives from both companies also met with Debt Office officials on Thursday, final approval could take weeks.

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