Despite some last-ditch bids to prevent it going under, the prospect of Swedish automaker Saab closing its doors for good is more likely than ever, after the company filed for bankruptcy Monday.
Saab, a company that began life as an airplane manufacturer in the 1930s but went on to produce, er, distinctive-looking cars that were tough as tanks, delivered the bankruptcy documents to a Swedish court. Actually, it was Saab CEO Victor Muller who personally handed the bankruptcy paperwork over. Which makes this story a little bit sadder, somehow.
The car manufacturer has had its share of glory days. In the 1980s, almost a million Saab 900s were sold, and there are still Saab fans and owners clubs around today. One of those clubs is based in LA, where LA Saab Club member Drew Price says the cars stand out from the pack:
“The market is a lot bigger on the East Coast and places like Colorado because Saabs behave the best in that kind of weather. But they’re even more unusual here in the warm climates. I think a lot of the attraction is that it’s a non-mainstream product – you don’t see a lot of them.”
Recent weeks have seen the company desperately seeking a buyer to step forward and rescue the limping company. In early 2010, GM clinched a deal to sell Saab to Dutch supercar maker Spyker Cars. More recently, Saab was hoping for a cash injection from Chinese investors, but GM did not support the deal.
Should Saab end up in the scrapyard, 3,700 employees stand to lose their jobs.