China's largest listed car distributor Pangda Automobile Trade Co Ltd <601258.SS> has started initial procedural talks to gain Chinese regulatory approval to invest in Swedish car maker Saab.

Saab owner Spyker Cars entered into a partnership deal worth up to 110 million euros ($154.7 million) with Pangda last week to stave off the collapse of the Swedish car maker, but the deal is contingent on Chinese regulatory clearance.

A previous deal Spyker entered into with China's Hawtai Motor Group fell through earlier this month due to problems in getting Chinese government approval for an overseas investment.

Spyker said on Monday Pangda had started procedural discussions with Chinese authorities, including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The initial procedure discussions we have had with the NDRC were done in good spirit and all parties have a good understanding of the process, Pangda Chief Executive Pang Qinghua said in a statement.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller added that Spyker, which will be renamed Swedish Automobile, is confident Pangda will get the approvals needed to formalize the deal.

Saab production has been halted for a month and a half after it failed to pay suppliers, but Spyker said it received an advance payment of 30 million euros from Pangda last Tuesday.

(Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by David Holmes)

($1=.7109 Euro)