Saab Automobile is faced with outstanding orders amounting to more than 6,500 vehicles from its Trollhättan facility in Sweden, which began production again last Friday after more than seven weeks at a standstill.
The company produced a first batch of 100 vehicles but said it is planning to increase the daily production rate in parallel with the full re-establishment of the supply chain.
Attending the restart of production were Victor Muller, CEO and chairman of Saab Automobile, Pang Qinghua, chairman and CEO of Pang Da Automobile, and Gunnar Brunius, Saab Automobile’s vice president of Purchasing & Manufacturing. The first cars to roll off the assembly line were a silver Saab 9-5 Aero XWD and an orange Saab 9-3 Convertible Independence Edition.
A company spokesperson said Saab could not provide details about how long it would take to meet the backorder fulfillment or whether any special logistics measures were being taken to speed the production and distribution of the vehicles. More details are expected next week.
The Swedish carmaker was forced to shut down production on April 6th following two weeks of interruptions related to parts shortages as a result of non-payment to its suppliers, who then refused to continue delivering parts. The shutdown has put a serious dent in Saab’s production growth at Tröllhattan, which had increased by 53% last year.
Last week Saab and its owner Spyker International signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese carmaker Pang Da Automobile Trade that included a 50-50-distribution joint venture for Saab-branded vehicles in China.
Saab reported at the end of last week that the total number of outstanding orders from markets worldwide for the Trollhättan factory amounted to over 6,500 cars but that the total order bank, including around 1,600 Saab 9-4X orders, amounts to more than 8,100 cars. This number includes around 1,300 cars that were ordered by Pang Da Automobile and for which it paid €30m ($43m) up front.
Today the company confirmed that Pang Da had placed an additional order for 630 Saab vehicles, with the order valued at €15m.