Saab says a big order means it can pay employee wages

A Saab dealership in Zurich Saab was saved from closing by Spyker at the start of 2010

The Swedish carmaker Saab has announced a big order from a Chinese company, which means it now can afford to pay its staff.

Last week, the company said it was too short of cash to make the payments.

Now it has said that the pre-payment on a 13m euro ($18m; £12m) order for 582 Saab vehicles would give it the short-term funding it needs.

Saab said it will also be able to make some payments to suppliers but would not yet be able to resume production.

Saab did not identify the Chinese buyer.

Earlier this month, Spyker said it had reached a deal with two Chinese firms to invest a total of 245m euros ($350m; £218m) in Saab.

"I am pleased to announce this agreement, as it secures part of the necessary short-term funding for Saab Automobile and allows us to pay our employees' wages before the end of this month," said Victor Muller, head of Saab's owner Spyker Cars, which has just renamed itself Swedish Automobile.

"Swedish Automobile and Saab Automobile continue their discussions with several parties to secure additional short-term funding to restart production."

Saab was bought by the small Dutch firm Spyker from General Motors at the beginning of 2010.

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