Saab is vigorously contending claims it owes a significant amount in wages to the Swedish regional government of Vastra Gotaland.

The dispute hinges on the period when Saab was being transferred from ownership by General Motors to that of Dutch sportscar manufacturer Spyker, with Sweden covering three months of salaries for the 3,400 Trollhattan plant employees.

Reports in Sweden are indicating the amount of wages owed is US$15m, but neither the regional government nor Saab was able to confirm the figure.

Saab says it entered a legal reorganisation on 20 February with Vastra Gotaland stepping in to guarantee wages that formed part of Saab's debt. On 17 June, also according to Saab, a creditors meeting agreed 75% of the debt would be written off.

"During the reorganisation, the State guarantees wages for a three-month period - that is two months before and one month after," a Saab spokesman in Sweden told just-auto.

"As part of compensation, we have to pay 25% and we have done that. Obviously we are in dispute - with the tax authorities in Vastra Gotaland. They think there is more to pay and we don't - we have complied entirely."

Saab maintains the issue is not affecting its day to day operations and although it concedes the authorities want the money repaid "by a certain amount of time," it insists it has acted in line with the law.

It is understood Spyker will not be involved financially in the situation.