Saab's next financial savior could come from China.
After nearly collapsing less than two years ago, the troubled brand is exploring an investment and production deal with Chinese automakers.
Last week Saab's North American spokeswoman, Michele Tinson, confirmed that the Swedish brand is in investment talks with several Chinese automakers.
"There are ongoing discussions with Chinese manufacturers," Tinson said.
Tinson did not give the names of the companies. But Bloomberg News identified them as Great Wall Motor Co., China Youngman Automobile Group Co. and Jiangsu Yueda Group Co. A production deal also is being discussed, Bloomberg said.
Saab is seeking a Chinese partner in order to raise funds amid a cash crunch that has forced the brand to halt production.
The move also would give it an entrance to the world's largest auto market.
Saab also hopes for an investment from Russian financier Vladimir Antonov, but that deal must still be formally approved by the European Investment Bank.
Antonov wants to buy Saab's plant, real estate and equipment and lease those assets back to the Swedish brand.
Saab's proposed Chinese partnership agreement likely would include an investment in the brand as well as forming a joint venture to build Saab vehicles in China, Bloomberg said.
On Friday, April 29, Saab owner Spyker Cars reported a first quarter net loss of 72 million euros, or about $107 million, and warned that it was unlikely to meet its 2011 production target of 80,000 vehicles.
Tom Backes, dealer principal of Guilford Saab in Guilford, Conn., said: "We were in far worse trouble 16 months ago."