Everything it seems with Saab, comes complete with a raft of deadlines.

The latest two are fast looming on the radar as Saab desperately seeks a way through the morass of competing creditors, regulatory authorities and former owners, that collectively all have to be satisfied the automaker can perform something of a miraculous escape from an apparently inevitable slide to bankruptcy.

The euphoria and fanfare of the Memorandum of Understanding between Saab and its proposed Youngman and Pang Da suitors has faded with dizzying speed as former owner General Motors put a pretty understandable and massive road block in the way of a 100% transfer to the Chinese.

GM had to give its consent for existing technology licences and the supply of its 9-4X vehicles – permission the Americans emphatically did not provide – and leading all parties straight back to square one.

Negotiations between those parties also appear to be happening at arms length. Reports are that Saab CEO Victor Muller – Majorca – Youngman/Pangda – China and GM – US – are discussing the issue but are they meeting, is anything happening face to face?

I spoke to GM in America earlier this week to try and find out whether any timetable was being talked about and despite the American manufacturer not being drawn on that, it did give an inkling of some of the atmosphere surrounding its dealings with Saab.

“This has been a very lengthy and drawn-out process,” said a GM spokesman. “There have been a lot of different ideas floated to try and solve Saab’s financial crisis.

“I can’t speculate about different scenarios. They [Saab] presented a transaction at the 11th hour when the administrator was prepared to liquidate the company and we spent the next couple of days [asking] a lot of questions and getting precious few answers but, as we got more answers, it became very clear to us we could not continue to licence our technology, although we were willing to continue our supplier relationship.”

‘Precious few answers?’ Saab has to come up with answers and fast.

The deadlines. Saab is due to hold a creditors meeting on 22 November at which it could outline potential payment plans to those owed considerable amounts of money, especially its suppliers who are collectively facing a shortfall of around EUR150m (US$204m).

Meanwhile the unions are starting to look at the next salary dates, which for blue collar labour body IF Metall, is 26 November, a matter of eight days away.

The unions have been here many times before this year, staring down the barrel of non-payment only for Saab or the Swedish government to step in and rescue the situation, testing employees’ patience to the limit.

But the administrator handling Saab’s bankruptcy protection status, Guy Lofalk, may not be so patient. That “11th hour” comment from GM as the administrator appeared poised to liquidate, is telling.

Either Saab and the Chinese come up with something radical and rapid or that creditors meeting next Tuesday could be the final straw for a company that has defied the odds so many times.