Spyker’s cash-strapped Swedish unit Saab is preparing to start up car production after a seven week standstill caused largely by payment problems to its suppliers.

Saab spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs said that the restart today was made possible mainly because of an initial $43-million (R300-million) injection by Chinese group Pang Da, which has put in an order for 1300 Saab vehicles. Gustavs said a further injection of R150-million from the company will be decided upon “within a few weeks.”

Watching the first car roll off the line, Saab CEO Victor Muller said: "This is a great day for our company and it is great to see the plant running again. We have gone through a rough patch in recent weeks, but Saab is back in action again.

"We will work hard in the coming period to regain confidence and show our ability to become a successful car maker. We are fortunate that we are in the middle of the largest-ever product offensive in the company's history.

"Last year we launched the all-new Saab 9-5 Saloon, while the 9-3 model year 2012 range went on sale earlier this year. The new Saab 9-4X, our first crossover, has enjoyed raving reviews from motoring media and we already sold all 9-4X cars for model year 2011. After the summer, we start delivering the much-awaited Saab 9-5 SportWagon to customers."

Earlier this month, Spyker announced that Pang Da would buy a 24 percent stake in the company for R650-million. The deal appeared to rescue Saab which had been struggling to find investors. -Sapa-AP & Saab