Saab Files for Bankruptcy

Sweden's Saab faced an end to more than 60 years of car making on Monday after its Dutch owner abandoned repeated attempts to find financing and filed for its bankruptcy.

The end to months of efforts to keep the famed car maker afloat came when General Motors at the weekend again vetoed a plan involving Chinese investor Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile. GM, Saab's former owner, still licences key technology to Saab and has a small shareholding.

"After having received the recent position of GM on the contemplated transaction with Saab Automobile, Youngman informed Saab Automobile that the funding to continue and complete the reorganization of Saab Automobile could not be concluded," Saab owner Swedish Automobile said.

"The Board of Saab Automobile subsequently decided that the company without further funding will be insolvent and that filing bankruptcy is in the best interests of its creditors."

The company has been on the edge of demise since March, when cash problems forced it to halt production of its much-loved cars.

It later briefly re-started output at its plant in west Sweden, but mounting debts to suppliers caused a halt again in April, since when it has not made any vehicles.

Swedish Automobile chief executive Victor Muller stitched together a series of deals to rescue Saab, but General Motors has said it could not accept an option involving Youngman.

GM, which operates in China in a partnership with state-run SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, said in early November that continuing to supply parts and technology to Saab's new owners would run counter to the interest of its own shareholders.

Swedish Automobile said in the statement that it expected that the court would approve of the filing and appoint receivers for Saab Automobile very shortly.