Car-maker Saab files for bankruptcy


Car-maker Saab has filed for bankruptcy, according to a Swedish court.

Victor Muller, chief executive of Dutch group Swedish Automobile, handed in the application in person today, the Vanersborg District Court court said.

In a statement, Swedish Automobile said it decided to file for bankruptcy after previous owner General Motors rejected all proposals presented to salvage the troubled brand on Saturday.

It said GM's position meant China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile had pulled out of talks to continue to finance the company's reorganisation.

The court is expected to approve the filing and appoint receivers for Saab Automobile very shortly, Swedish Automobile said.

There is still a small chance the bankruptcy administrator could sell the brand, but experts say that would most likely involve chopping up the company into smaller parts.

Swedish Automobile said Chinese investors pulled out of attempts to finance Saab's reorganisation after their last proposal for a solution was rejected by GM, which sold the brand in 2010 but still owns some technology licenses.

The bankruptcy filing comes as a blow for the town of Trollhattan in south-western Sweden, where Saab employs 3,700 people at its factory.

Originally an aircraft maker, Saab entered into the vehicle market after the Second World War with the first production of the two-stroke-engine Saab 92. It soon became a household name in Sweden and in the 1970s it released its first turbocharged model - the landmark Saab 99.

To car enthusiasts Saab was known for its quirks such as placing the ignition lock between the front seats and becoming the first car to sport heated seating in 1971.