* Move to coincide with Pangda CEO visit
* Plant has been idle for six weeks due to cash crunch
(Adds Saab comment, background)
STOCKHOLM, May 26 Struggling carmaker Saab
Automobile said it was gearing up to restart its production line
in Sweden on Friday, after being idle for six weeks due to
Saab owner Spyker SPYKR.AS has been struggling to turn
round the Swedish carmaker since its acquisition from General
Motors (GM.N) last year. It ran out of cash to pay suppliers in
April, halting production and pushing it to the brink of
"Based on the information we have, it looks like we will
start up production tomorrow," spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs said.
The automaker has been in intense negotiations with
suppliers in recent days. Gustavs said agreements had been
reached with a sufficient number to allow for a resumption of
output from its plant in Trollhattan, southwest Sweden.
"We have a critical mass to get production started," she
Spyker has been seeking solutions to ease its cashflow
problems but has had to wait for approval from authorities in
Sweden and the European Investment Bank, according to the terms
of an outstanding loan.
Chinese car distributor Pangda (601258.SS) is waiting for
regulatory approval at home for its rescue of Saab in a deal
worth up to 110 million euros ($154.7 million). [ID:nLDE74M083]
Spyker received an advance payment of 30 million euros from
Pangda last week and had set a goal to restart production by the
end of this week, in time for a visit by Pangda Chief Executive
Pang was in Stockholm on Thursday for meetings with
Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson and the Swedish debt office,
which administers the loan guarantees granted Saab by Sweden,
but was expected in Trollhattan on Friday, Gustavs said.
Earlier on Thursday, business daily Dagens Industri quoted
Gunnar Brunius, Saab's vice-president of purchasing and
manufacturing, as saying the aim was to start roll out 100 cars
on Friday instead of its usual 230 to 240 per day.
(Reporting by Mia Shanley; writing by Niklas Pollard;
editing by Hans Peters and David Hulmes)