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SAAB Files For Bankruptcy

Posted: December 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Auto News, Grilled | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on SAAB Files For Bankruptcy

SAAB Files For Bankruptcy - 1958 SAAB 92B

The stalwart Swedish car maker Saab has filed for bankruptcy, bringing to an end two years of efforts to rescue the iconic brand. Final desperate efforts to organise help from China were obstructed by General Motors over licences.

“They were here this morning and submitted the documents requesting bankruptcy,” a clerk at the Vaenersborg district court told AFP, adding that the court was currently examining the request.

A statement on the court’s website said three Saab companies had filed for bankruptcy: SAAB Automobile Aktiebolag, Saab Automobile Tools AB and Saab Automobile Powertrain.

“The court aims to handle the request and appoint a liquidator rapidly,” the statement said.

Saab’s charismatic chief executive Victor Muller had been due to appear before the court on Monday as judges had been scheduled to decide whether to lift or prolong the three-month bankruptcy protection Saab had been placed under while it was attempting to negotiate a deal to rescue the company.

Mr Muller has been struggling to put together a deal to save Saab from bankruptcy, primarily negotiating in recent months with two Chinese groups, carmaker Youngman and car distribution company Pang Da.

But Saab’s former owner, General Motors, has repeatedly said it would refuse to agree to the necessary technology licence transfers to the Chinese firms.

As recently as this weekend, GM reiterated its opposition to any deal with a Chinese suitor, a statement seen as a death knell for Saab.

The attempts to sell Saab to Chinese partners have been seen as the last chance of saving the Swedish carmaker, which was already on the brink of bankruptcy when GM sold it to Swedish Automobile – at the time called Spyker – in early 2010 for $US400 million.

It has been a rocky road since then. The carmaker was forced to halt production in April as suppliers stopped deliveries over mountains of unpaid bills.

Saab’s some 3,700 employees, whose salaries have been delayed five months running, have yet to receive their November paycheques.


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