Saab Files for Bankruptcy after GM Vetoes Chinese Funding Deal
Saab's last ditch plan to secure funding from a Chinese automaker was vetoed this past weekend by former owner General Motors, setting off a chain of events culminating in the embattled Swedish automaker filing for bankruptcy in Swedish court. Even for Saab, no stranger to a harrowing recent history, this likely spells the end of the road for the quirky automaker.
Swedish Automobile, Saab's parent company, announced the move today. The company is still headed by CEO Victor Muller, who made his name in the automotive world as the man behind boutique automaker Spyker. Muller was the architect behind the $400 million deal back in 2010 to purchase the brand from then-bankrupt General Motors.
While Muller's purchase of Saab may have bolstered General Motors' finances, it was GM that apparently did Saab in. The bankruptcy came shortly after GM, which is still a key supplier for Saab, blocked a deal that would have allowed Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile to help fund Saab's reorganization. GM had maintained the ability to veto any plans for the brand's restructuring when it sold off the automaker in 2010, and has consistently vetoed any deal involving the Chinese on intellectual property grounds.
Saab now goes into bankruptcy with little to no hope of exiting. Especially telling is the end of Swedish Automobile's statement: "[Swedish Automobile] does not expect to realize any value from its shares in Saab Automobile and will write off its interest in Saab Automobile completely." For a company that once loudly proclaimed its cars were born from jets, it looks like the embattled Saab brand will die in receivership.
Source: Automotive News