Chinese distributor Pang Da is envisaging an eventual production run of up to 300,000 cars for Saab as it bids to take a stake in the Swedish automaker.

Speaking on Swedish television station TV4 today (27 May) at the Trollhattan factory in Western Sweden as Saab started production again after its major shut-down, Pang Da owner and chairman Qinghua Pang also outlined the Chinese government's support.

"Starting up in China, I believe 100,000, 200,000, 300,000 [cars] will not be a dream - I am pretty confident in our collaboration," he said. "

"The Chinese government is very supportive. With the start of sales in China, investment will come back to the factory. China is a great market - last year China [went] past America to the number one country with 18m cars."

Pang Da has already injected EUR30m (US$43m) into Saab to allow production to restart, but is also looking to take up to a 24% stake in the automaker. This however, has to be approved by the European Investment Bank, the Swedish government and former owner, General Motors.

Saab has gone through a tortuous series of negotiations including with former Chinese suitors Hawtai and the manufacturer admitted on Swedish television today (27 May) the process to today's restart had not been easy.

"After very tough and hard work I am really [happy] to see cars coming off the line behind my back," Saab VP production and purchasing Gunnar Brunius said.

"We have been working very hard together with our suppliers and supply network. I met one person from the paint shop and she told me it is really fantastic, but I said it will be a tough journey. There are a lot of tough challenges in the next few weeks."