Saab owner files for bankruptcy protection


The owner of the Saab vehicle brand has filed for bankruptcy protection in Sweden in a final effort to save the iconic automaker, news reports say.

The Associated Press has reported that Swedish Automobile, formerly Spyker Cars NV, said Saab and its subsidiaries Powertrain and Tools were named in the application for a “self-managed” reorganization filed at a Swedish local court.

Overseas units were excluded.

Reports indicate that if the court and Saab’s creditors approves the filing, a court-administered reorganization would “halt any debt collection processes as well as potential bankruptcy filings.”

Saab has been struggling to survive for over a year following its sale to Netherlands-based Spyker Cars NV from General Motors in 2010. The niche sportscar company run by Victor Muller has subsequently shopped the Saab brand around the world in the hopes of reviving the iconic Swedish nameplate.

Recent investments from Chinese firms Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. drew speculation that Spyker, which recently changed its name to Swedish Automobile, had received enough cash to jumpstart global production and delivery of Saab.

But the deals have been delayed amid a lengthy approval process.

The automaker had to suspended production at its plant in Trollhattan, Sweden. Salary payments for many of Saab's 3,700 workers have been postponed in recent months as the liquidity crisis worsened, The Associated Press says.

According to reports, the application for creditor protection calls for cutting costs
and “creating a viable, competitive and independent organization,” Saab Automobile said.

“The eventual purpose of the proposed voluntary reorganization process is to secure short-term stability while simultaneously attracting additional funding,” the company said.