Saab is declining to comment on suggestions it is in discussions with Chinese automakers with an eye to taking an investment in the troubled company.

Saab owner Spyker's chairman Victor Muller was quoted in US media as touting the possibility of a China tie-up but this was not confirmed by the Swedish automaker today (21 April).

There was a suggestion that Beijing Automotive Industry Holding had been mentioned in connection with Saab, but calls to the Chinese manufacturer went unanswered.

Responding to questions surrounding any Chinese or other investment, a Saab spokeswoman in Sweden told just-auto. "There is nothing we can say on the record regarding any of the other business partners we are in discussions with."

Meanwhile, Saab production staff continue to remain at home and, even if new finance was agreed today in a deal involving the Swedish National Debt Office and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the start of the long Easter weekend makes it unlikely work could resume before the end of next week.

The two financing strands in play still need to be resolved, however. The EIB has to approve any change in its original EUR400m (US$ 585m) loan status while Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov's proposal to acquire Saab's property for a 30% stake in the company still has to be given the nod.

"The investment allowing Mr Antonov to go in as a part-owner is the question - the Debt Office is addressing it," the spokeswoman added.

"There are two separate issues and one does not necessarily have to be decided with the other."

Last year BAIC said it was interested in an investment in Saab and was one of the bidders when GM said wanted to sell the Swedish automaker.

BAIC paid US$200m to buy technology from GM's Saab unit to advance its own vehicle development while agreeing to purchase [previous generation] Saab platforms to lessen reliance on partners Hyundai and Daimler.

Sweden's National Debt Office was not immediately available for comment.