Saab Reportedly Poised to “Relaunch”

According to the Saab North America president and COO Tim Colbeck, the automaker’s parent company, Swedish Automobile, is involved in “real and substantive” negotiations with potential investors.

Last week, a Swedish business publication reported that the cash-strapped company was on the verge of securing much needed funding from an American investor, but the automaker declined to comment on the story.

Saab has been plagued by slow sales and cash flow problems that have led many analysts and industry insiders to warn of its inevitable demise. Earlier this summer, European Association of Automotive Suppliers CEO Lars Holmqvist said of the frustration being felt by suppliers and creditors, “I think that the patience has more or less run out.”

The company’s Trollhättan, Sweden plant has been idle since last April.

The company narrowly escaped bankruptcy proceedings earlier this week, and U.S.-based GEM Global Yield Fund Ltd. recently purchased approximately 5 million shares of Swedish Automobile stock for slightly less than 7 million euros.

Swedish Automobile, formerly Spyker Cars NV, purchased Saab from General Motors Company in 2010 as the American automaker scrambled to unload a number of money-losing divisions. The deal relied heavily upon private funding and guarantees from the Swedish government

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Colbeck said Saab is ready to relaunch the battered brand but declined to identify the potential investors who would help fun such an effort. He also said production at the company’s Swedish plants is scheduled to resume on August 29.

Speaking at an event in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Colbeck also said he expects Saab to receive the Chinese government’s blessing on a deal with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Company and distributor Pang Da Investments late next month. He said a feasibility study and business plan will be submitted to the Chinese government within a month.

A purchase deal with Chinese automaker Hawtai Motor collapsed suddenly last June.

Swedish Automobile CEO Victor Muller has remained upbeat about Saab’s future. Speaking at an event in Washington D.C. last May, Muller said, “I’m a horrible manager, but I’m very good at raising money.”

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