Pre-shutdown 9-5 off-line is shown in this file photo

Pre-shutdown 9-5 off-line is shown in this file photo

Saab's Trollhattan factory has restarted production today (27 May) following its lengthy stoppage due to supplier payment issues.

The Swedish automaker confirmed its restart - initially limited to around 100 vehicles per day compared to the normal 230 - following injections of EUR30m (US$43m) each from investment company Gemini and Chinese distributor Pang Da.

"I am standing next to the production line and it is running," a Saab spokesman in Trollhattan told just-auto this morning. "We have around 6,500 customer orders, so those cars will have to go out to the market as soon as possible.

"It was an enormous challenge of course. The deadline of Friday [27 May] initially was a deadline to put a lot of pressure on the system, so that was a big breakthrough."

One of the major sticking points to Saab starting work again was the supplier question, but Saab insists it has now agreed delivery and payment terms, although it will be a while before full production resumes.

"We have more than 800 direct suppliers and those in turn have suppliers," said the Saab spokesman. "We have a lean system where we don't have any stock parts here in the factory. Everything has to come together at the same time."

Despite the optimism of today's news from Sweden, Saab nonetheless conceded there might be a few "hiccups" along the supply chain as the system became fully operational.

"When production shut down, a lot of suppliers also ran into some issues so we expect a few hiccups during the next few days," said the spokesman. "Most important is we started up."

Following Russian businessman and potential investor Vladimir Antonov's meeting with Swedish Enterprise Minister Maud Oloffson on 24 May, Saab confirmed Pang Da owner and chairman Qinghua Pang had also met the politician as well as the Swedish National Debt Office and the Chinese Embassy this week.

Saab added Pang was there this morning to witness the restart of the production lines.