Swedish Automaker Saab
has been denied bankruptcy protection
by a district court in southern Sweden. The decision opens the door for both labor unions and creditors to proceed with bankruptcy filings against the automaker.
The Vanersborg District Court denied Saab's filing for creditor protection, saying it was unclear how the automaker would secure the funding necessary to ensure continued operations. Saab had claimed some $351 million in committed funding from Chinese partners Pang Da and Youngman, but both deals were dependent upon Chinese government approval. As with the failed acquisition of HUMMER by a small truckmaker, the Chinese government has shown reluctance to allow domestic firms to partner with outside manufacturers, as it goes counter to their desire to create a handful of Chinese automakers who can compete with companies like Toyota and GM on a global basis.
The next step is up to the labor unions, whose employees have not been paid since July. It's expected that they will pursue bankruptcy filing against the automaker to recover lost wages, and other creditors will likely follow suit. We'll keep you posted on this breaking story, but the future of Saab looks very bleak at the moment.
[The Detroit News]