Europe's automotive supplier body CLEPA says a bid by Saab CEO Victor Muller to negotiate a new deal with Chinese sources could be the Swedish automaker's "last attempt" to effect a rescue.

Saab is frantically trying to secure new finance to pay outstanding wages and avoid the Vanersborg District Court endorsing an application by administrator Guy Lofalk to have its bankruptcy protection terminated.

"I have talked to Victor Muller today (8 December) again," CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto. "I think they [are] now waiting for a communication about what could be the last attempt to save Saab.

"I think, without going into any detail, it has been rather tough and what Victor Muller and his lawyers now have done is the only thing that is possible - if this is not feasible then that is it."

Muller is believed to be in talks with Chinese manufacturer Youngman and an unnamed Chinese bank to find a financial lifeline to save the stricken automaker from bankruptcy, following rejection earlier this week by former owner General Motors of a revised ownership structure.

Holmqvist's suppliers are owed around EUR150m (US$200m), but are in a long queue of creditors including those of its nearly 4,000 employees, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Swedish government, that paid three months of salaries once the automaker entered voluntary reorganisation.

"It is just a matter of days and the money needs to be in the bank this week in order to cover the immediate payments, not all of it, but the immediate payments," said Holmqvist.

"If this is successful, then there is the prospect of getting our money back. The only thing we can do now is cross our fingers. Everybody from the employees to the suppliers and hold out for another couple of days."

Holmqvist added the Swedish government - which has also underwritten a EUR280m loan from the EIB - is being consulted but is not involved with the negotiations.