Saab owner Spyker Cars reported a first-quarter net loss of 72 million euros ($107 million) on Friday and warned it was unlikely to meet its 2011 production target. The company also said it is talking with Chinese companies about a possible investment in Saab.
"We have opened up alternative routes to fund the company mid and short term including, but not limited to, discussions with Chinese car manufacturers," Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in a statement.
Muller did not name the Chinese companies but Bloomberg and Dow Jones news wires said Spyker is negotiating with Great Wall Motor Co., China Youngman Automobile Group Co. and Jiangsu Yueda Group Co. Saab may partner with one of the companies within days, Bloomberg said.
An agreement would likely include the Chinese company investing in the Swedish carmaker as well as forming a joint venture to produce Saab vehicles in China, Bloomberg sources said. It may also include the Chinese company distributing the Swedish brand at its dealerships.
Saab is seeking a Chinese partner to raise funds amid a cash crunch that has forced it to halt production. The move would also give it an entrance to the world's largest auto market.
Production at Saab's plant in Trollhattan, Sweden, has been halted for most of April after it failed to pay suppliers' bills.
As recently as late March, Spyker stuck to its target for Saab to sell 80,000 cars this year, versus about 30,000 last year. But on Friday, Spyker said that target was no longer realistic.
"It is unclear at this time what the consequences of the recent production stoppages and funding issues will be for our full year 2011 forecast but it is realistic to assume that realising our 80,000 cars sales forecast is no longer feasible," Muller said in a statement.