* Spyker says Swedish Saab not on verge of collapse
* Solving liquidity crunch
* Russian financier eyes stake
(Adds quotes on Antonov, background)
By Patrick Lannin and Mia Shanley
STOCKHOLM, April 4 The production problems which
hit loss-making Swedish carmaker Saab last week were a small
glitch which the company will survive, Dutch owner Spyker Cars
NV SPYKR.AS said on Monday.
Saab, based in western Sweden, had to stop production for
three days after suppliers stopped deliveries due to unpaid
bills. The problems, which Spyker has said are now solved,
raised question marks about the company's finances.
But Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller, whose company
bought Saab in 2010 from General Motors (GM.N), remained upbeat.
"Saab is still producing and it is not on the verge of
collapse," Muller told a news conference where Saab was
presenting new vehicles already shown at the Geneva auto show,
including a concept sportscar model called the Saab PhoeniX.
"A small glitch does not change the fact that cars are being
made," he added.
He said the company would by next year have the widest and
newest range in its history and output this year would be
weighted towards the latter half.
He repeated a forecast that output this year would be 80,000
cars and Saab would be profitable in 2012. Production this year
would be weighted heavily to the latter end of 2011.
Saab President and Chief Executive Jan Ake Jonsson, who
unexpectedly announced his retirement two weeks ago, said the
company had faced a tightening in liquidity in the second half
of the quarter but was working to solve the problem.
Efforts to boost Saab's long-term financing are focused on
Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, who has submitted an
application to take a stake in the loss-making car manufacturer.
Antonov used to be a third owner in Spyker, but was forced
out of the Saab deal by GM after media reports of links to
organised crime, which he denied. He says he has cleared his
name and that GM is ready to have him back as a shareholder.
Spyker has applied to allow Antonov back as a shareholder to
the Swedish Debt Office, which must give its approval as Sweden
has guaranteed a 400 million euro ($568.9 million) EIB loan.
Muller said he did not know when the permission from Sweden
would be forthcoming, but hoped it would be soon.
He said any Antonov stake in Spyker would be below 30
percent, otherwise the Russian would have to make a bid for the
whole of the company.
"I would love to have him back (as a shareholder)," Muller
added, saying there had not been a "shred of evidence" of
wrongdoing by Antonov.
Muller said Spyker was keen to repay the EIB loan as the
company wanted to be independent from the government.
(Editing by David Holmes)