Saab production restarts at Trollhattan with 1,300 car order from Chinese distributor
About 100 Saab automobiles will be built today in the first day of production at the Swedish manufacturer since April 6. Victor Muller, CEO and chairman of Saab Automobile, was on hand as the first cars, a silver Saab 9-5 Aero XWD and an orange Saab 9-3 Convertible Independence Edition, were driven off the end of the assembly line.
"This is a great day for our company and it is great to see the plant running again," said Muller. "We have gone through a rough patch in recent weeks, but Saab is back in action again."
That "rough patch" brought the company close to the precipice. Muller had earlier characterized the production stoppage as a run on the bank, the result of a Saab's inability to meet a single supplier's cash on delivery terms demanded in light of Saab's precarious financial status, leaving a delivery truck sitting at the gate and sending the always hovering Swedish reporters dashing off stop-the-presses stories to their respective publications. That was immediately followed by other suppliers refusing to deliver or demanding immediate payment of commercial credit accounts, all resulting in the Trollhattan assembly lines grinding to a halt.
After one Chinese savior withdrew its offer for reasons not wholly clear, Pang Da stepped in with a binding offer to buy 1,300 Saabs with an upfront payment of €30 million, enough to meet current obligations. Pang Qinghua, CEO and chairman of Pang Da, was on hand to witness cars coming off the assembly lines.