Could, would the Swedish government step in to save Saab as the iconic manufacturer desperately seeks to stave off what looks increasingly like a more and more precarious situation?

There have been frantic meetings in Stockholm at the National Debt Office to try and find a creative financial solution for Saab that would allow it to have less cash from its EUR400m (US$569m) European Investment Bank loan, but raise collateral against its Trollhattan property instead.

Part of the problem appears the EIB loan - while substantial - has some pretty strict parameters essentially limiting the finance to environmental projects and not day-to-day running of the business.

That's where Saab is struggling as suppliers adopt a tough stance when it comes to receiving payment and why that Trollhattan factory is at a standstill again today (19 April) and unlikely to resume production before next week.

Speaking to just-auto, the CEO of CLEPA - the European Association of Automotive Suppliers - Lars Holmqvist - noted Saab seemed to be in a "negative spiral" as its 800 suppliers watched the situation closely.

Offering a gloomy prognosis, Holmqvist added: "I have worked in this business for 35 years and Saab has never really made any money - they have always had rich parents."

The CLEPA chief - himself a Swede - also described the Swedish government as "hard-nosed when it comes to this kind of business" and it certainly appears Saab is not going to be baled out by any blank cheque.

That much was confirmed by the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise whose spokeswoman told just-auto: "We do look after the taxpayer's money."

There are around 3,300 jobs at stake in Trollhattan itself, but countless others potentially rely on Saab business indirectly.

As Saab looks for ever-more creative solutions to its crisis, will the Swedish government step in to save one of its most famous brands or keep its hard-nosed position?

There is talk of Saab's building sale raising around EUR30m (US$42.8m) - potentially to Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov - but this is surely just one drop in the sea of finance that Saab needs.

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