Saab set for production in just eight weeks

The ink may still not be dry on the $142 million deal between Saab and Chinese automotive firms Pang Da and Youngman Lotus that sees 100% of the Swedish manufacturer now under Chinese control, but Saab is already bullish about its future.

The Swedish firm believe it could have its plant ready for production in just eight weeks, despite outstanding bills to settle after production stopped back in March due to parts suppliers not receiving cash they were owed.
Speaking to Inside Line, Michele Tinson, director of communication at Saab Cars North America said "the factory may be running in eight weeks in the best-case scenario," adding "production of the Saab 9-4X crossover at General Motors' Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant will get back up and running more quickly than Sweden," too.

So with a takeover bid now confirmed and Saab saved from the brink, what does the future hold for the traditionally reserved firm? Well, just because it has new owners don't expect any serious styling U-turns. In fact, don't really expect anything new from Saab at all.

With bills to pay and little intellectual property rights included in the deal, there's not much on the drawing board for Saab with the next new car from the Swedes likely to be the 9-5 SportCombi, originally slated for the 2012 New York Auto Show.

It's had a difficult birth but the 9-5 wagon looks set to live despite Tinson's claims that "there are a lot of other dominoes that need to be in place" for it to get the go ahead for launch at the NY show.

But the current 9-5 chassis is no spring chicken and is basically just a warmed through version of the old 9-5 in a slightly more svelte suit so the driving experience won't be anything startlingly new or particularly noteworthy.

With this deal the latest twist in the long-running saga at the Swedish manufacturer, Saab could just be about to pull off one of the greatest revivals since Lazarus.
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