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Saab gets latest lifeline via $5 million infusion from Chinese company

Tue, 13 Dec 2011

Saab has been on the edge of collapse since a cash shortage early this year forced it to halt production. Now Automotive News reports that a last-minute payment from China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile has given the Swedish carmaker yet another shot.

Youngman wants to get a stake in Saab and has taken the first step by giving the company $5 million to cover tax expenses, with another $26.43 million forthcoming for unpaid salaries and $13.18 million more before the end of December. Saab again deferred paying salaries on Nov. 25.

A Swedish court has given Saab until Dec. 15 to dispute the termination of an earlier ruling that protected it from creditors while it gets its house in order, so the timing of Youngman's payment is crucial. On Dec. 16, a court will decide whether the carmaker will receive continued protection.

Swedish Automobile-owned Saab has not produced any cars for months because its main factory has been shut down as a result of unpaid bills.

By Julie Alvin