Swedish automaker Saab has filed for bankruptcy after months of struggle to stay alive. Saab’s owners have turned the company’s assets over to a Swedish court-appointed receiver.
General Motors, Saab’s former owner, had objected to a recently proposed deal under which the company would have been sold to Chinese investors including carmaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile. The deal required GM’s cooperation because it still supplies parts, designs and engineering for Saab products. China is one of GM’s largest markets and the U.S. automaker was reportedly concerned that its technology could end up in competing vehicles. GM still maintains an ownership stake in Saab.
There is a chance that Saab could be purchased, in whole or in parts, out of receivership, Saab spokesman Eric Geers said. Potential buyers would have to negotiate with the defense and aerospace company Saab Group, a separate company which still owns the rights to the Saab name and trademark, and with GM.
GM sold Saab to Swedish Automotive in early 2010 as part of GM’s bankruptcy reorganization. Swedish Automotive is a Dutch company that was then known as Spyker, a high-end brand of hand-made sports cars. But Saab continued to struggle under the new ownership.
Saab was founded as airplane maker Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Airplane Inc.) in 1937 and entered the car business in 1946. The defense company Saab Group is a separate company today and remains in business.
Image: BBC News