Europe's automotive suppliers association (CLEPA) is deploring suggestions Saab has made partial payments to some component makers.

The development came as the Swedish automaker struggles to restart production and placate angry unions anxious to secure August salary payments following late settlement of July wages.

"It is true some companies have been paid lately," CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto. "We don't like it as we have hundreds of suppliers waiting for money. We think it is totally unacceptable behaviour.

"I have been in contact with Saab and told them what I think and they have promised to come back to me when they have spoken to Mr [Victor] Muller. I think it is out of the hands of Saab or our organisation - it is now in the hands of people if they are upset with it."

Holmqvist added he had spoken to someone at Saab "very close" to Muller and expected the automaker to talk to him shortly.

The CLEPA chief said he was aware of some suppliers being offered 10% of outstanding debt although most of them had "turned it down."

However, one company Holmqvist knew had been paid "something like 20% or 30%," he noted.

Saab was not immediately available for comment.