Saab cars filed for bankruptcy yesterday, a Swedish district court said, bringing to an end two years of efforts to rescue the iconic brand.
The final desperate efforts to organize help in China were obstructed by General Motors (GM) over licenses.
“They were here this morning and submitted the documents requesting bankruptcy,” a clerk at the Vaenersborg district court said, adding that the court was currently examining the request.
A statement on the court’s Web site said three Saab companies had filed for bankruptcy: SAAB Automobile Aktiebolag, Saab Automobile Tools AB and Saab -Automobile Powertrain.
Saab’s owner Swedish Automobile said in a statement that: “the company without further funding will be insolvent and that filing bankruptcy is in the best interests of its creditors.”
“It is expected that the court will approve of the filing and appoint receivers for Saab Automobile very shortly,” the statement said.
Saab’s chief executive Victor Muller had been due to appear before the court yesterday 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.
Muller had been struggling to clinch an agreement in recent months with two Chinese groups, carmaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co (浙江青年蓮花汽車) and car distribution company Pang Da Automobile Trade Co (龐大汽車).
However, Saab’s former owner GM repeatedly said it would not agree to the necessary technology license transfers to the Chinese firms.
The attempts to sell Saab to Chinese partners had 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 — early last year for US$400 million.