Swedish auto maker Saab Automobile, struggling to regain its financial footing after breaking off from longtime parent General Motors 15 months ago, restarts its hometown assembly plant Friday after nailing down a new investor.
Saab expects to produce 100 cars, its first lot of new builds since a cash shortage halted parts deliveries and suspended work on April 6.
Its production pace will increase in the coming days, the auto maker says.
About 10 days ago, Saab owner Spyker Cars won E110 million ($155.2 million) in medium-term funding from Chinese dealership giant Pang Da Automobile, including $30 million up front for 1,300 cars and clearing the way for the restart in Trollhattan.
The investment calls for Pang Da to receive a 24% stake in Saab and sets up a 50/50 JV between the two covering the distribution and manufacturing of Saab vehicles in China. Pang Da also will buy more cars later from Saab.
Saab says its current order book calls for the production of 6,500 cars in Trollhattan.
“We have gone through a rough patch in recent weeks, but Saab is back in action again,” Spyker founder and Saab Chairman and CEO Victor Muller says in a statement.
The auto maker also tells journalists today it is confident the Pang Da deal will receive regulatory approval, which would cement the equity stake and JV.