Having used up all its options, long-struggling Saab has filed for bankruptcy, ending a desperate bid for survival that began even before it was sold off by General Motors in early 2010.
Victor Muller, the Dutch entrepreneur whose small firm purchased Saab from GM personally appeared in the Vanersborg District Court, in southwestern Sweden, this morning to hand in the bankruptcy papers. The move came days after Saab had won one last reprieve, the court firing the original administrator and giving the automaker a chance to come up with a workable deal with the Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus, which had offered to purchase Saab outright.
It is up to the courts to now decide what to do with Saab’s assets, and though there remains some hope they could be purchased in their entirety it is uncertain whether the now-bankrupt maker has much to offer anyone else in the industry. While its headquarters factory in Trollhattan, Sweden is considered one of the Continent’s more modern there is already a glut of capacity and many manufacturers are looking ways to cut production rather than add to it.
While Muller didn’t speak with the media, a statement from Saab suggested that General Motors was to blame for the company’s final collapse. GM had notified Saab that it would not approve a sale to the Chinese.