Saab Files For Bankruptcy As Chinese Deal Falls Through
Swedish carmaker Saab filed for bankruptcy on Monday, after a plan to bring in investment from a Chinese rival fell through.
Former owner General Motors (GM) said that it would stop licensing technology to Saab if it sold a stake to Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Company, a Chinese manufacturer. The US carmaker rejected the deal on the grounds that it would undermine its own business.
The Chinese company had tabled a bid of around €600m (£500m).
"It has been an ignominious end to the automaker, which during its history has pioneered several innovations," Ian Fletcher, automotive analyst at IHS Global Insight said. "Having not produced any vehicles in any great volumes for almost nine months, it has floundered from one potential cash infusion to another in an attempt to restart production, with several different investors in the business having been linked with the company and subsequently walked away."
Saab was sold to Swedish Automobile, a Dutch company, in February 2010, but missed sales targets and suspended production in April 2011, when it was no longer able to pay its workers and suppliers. It has been under creditor protection since September, and had been searching for some form of rescue deal ahead of Monday's court deadline.
The company's administrator, Guy Lofalk, has twice asked for the restructuring process to be abandoned due to lack of funds.
Lofalk reportedly told the court on 7 December that the company had no money left, and would not realistically be able to get financing fast enough to ensure its survival.
Saab employs around 3,500 staff, mainly in Sweden.