It's finally happened, Saab has filed for bankruptcy. The Swedish firm's parent company, Swedish Automobile NV (Swan) declared that the firm's deal with Chinese company Youngman falling through means the company, without funding, can't continue to trade.
Swan and the Board of Saab decided that filing for bankruptcy is the best thing for its creditors and are expecting Swedish courts to approve the action quickly.
The Swedish manufacturer released the following statement this morning:
'Saab Automobile Files for Bankruptcy
Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 19 December 2011 – Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) announces that Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile), Saab Automobile Tools AB and Saab Powertrain AB filed for bankruptcy with the District Court in Vänersborg, Sweden this morning.
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. 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. It is expected that the Court will approve of the filing and appoint receivers for Saab Automobile very shortly.
Swan does not expect to realize any value from its shares in Saab Automobile and will write off its interest in Saab Automobile completely.'
Saab was a big player in the automotive market, so it's right to wonder exactly how it got into such a state. It's partially down to poor sales and partially down to its former keeper, General Motors.
You see, the firms trying to buy Saab (Pang Da and Youngman) are both Chinese. General Motors still has lots of its patented tech in the Saab line up. GM's concern is that its tech would end up in Chinese vehicles without them actually knowing about it. They didn't want their tech nicked, and selling Saab without the General's components is largely pointless because it would just be letters and a badge.
So that, Saabophiles, is that. Saab's illustrious 63 year lifespan is finally over and another era of the automotive world comes to a close. At least it's not Clarkson's fault this time.