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by Tim Beissmann

Embattled Swedish car maker Saab has received its first payment from a Chinese investor just days out from a court hearing that will decide the company’s future.

Victor Muller, CEO of Saab’s owner Swedish Automobile, told Reuters that Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobiles transferred 3.4 million euros ($4.4 million) into Saab’s account yesterday.

Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri reports the initial payment is intended to cover Saab’s immediate tax expenses, while it says another investment of 20 million euros ($26 million) due later today should take care of unpaid employee salaries.

Youngman is determined to secure a stake of Saab, but its attempts have so far been blocked by General Motors, who owns much of the technology used to produce Saab’s current vehicles, which believes the sale would hurt its competitiveness in China.

The Vanersborg District Court will decide on Friday whether to continue with the program to protect Saab from creditors or open it up to bankruptcy. The administrator supervising the program for the court has applied to have it ended.

Saab has not produced a vehicle since April and failed to pay its most recent salaries, due on November 25.




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