Union sources in Sweden say payment has just been received by Saab from Chinese manufacturer Youngman to pay outstanding taxes, with a promise to settle overdue wages.

Although any amounts are not yet known, the IF Metall labour body says the Swedish State has first claim on any finance, with salaries also due for November, which remain unpaid to Saab's near 4,000-strong workforce.

"I know Saab has got the money just a couple of hours ago," IF Metall legal adviser Darko Davidovic told just-auto from Sweden. "There are a lot of things going [on] at Saab now and they have a lot of things to fix, because this is only partial finance. This pays...a big debt to the taxes and the government has said they would file for bankruptcy if they don't pay.

"Saab said...they would make an agreement with Youngman - that agreement would resolve they should pay taxes and salaries. During the day or tomorrow, they should pay the salaries."

Any resolution of outstanding tax liabilities as well as the salary issue is crucial ahead of a submission by Saab this Thursday (15 December) concerning administrator Guy Lofalk's application to have its bankruptcy protection status ended.

"You can do anything, you can not pay salaries and distributors, but if you don't pay taxes you have big problems," said Davidovic. "You can be late with everything, but never with taxes."

Saab CEO Victor Muller is believed to have met representatives of Sweden's National Debt Office (SNDO) last night in Stockholm, ahead of the automaker's application to Vanersborg District Court to continue voluntary reorganisation.

An immediate financial settlement is also ahead of any deal with former owner General Motors, which has yet to be satisfied on a new ownership structure for Saab.

Neither Saab, the SNDO or Youngman were immediately available for comment.