New reports this afternoon indicate that Swedish tax authorities have effectively shut down Saab until the automaker pays back unpaid customs duties. Many of the parts that make up today's Saabs are sourced from suppliers and General Motors plants outside of the European Union, and customs officials have halted the shipment of those parts. Without a supply chain, the Trollhättan plant has been forced to stop production.

According to The Local, an English-language Swedish news outlet, Saab's production manager, Gunnar Brunius, hoped to have the situation resolved by this evening. But the fact the duties haven't been paid is a sign of the cash flow problems at parent company General Motors. Customs officials haven't disclosed how much money is owed other than to say the amount is "considerable."

Earlier this week, Saab filed for the Swedish equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. If GM is unwilling or unable to pony up the cash to pay the bills, Saab will have to find another benefactor. The Swedish government already rejected a bailout last week, so Saab's future is increasingly unclear. Is this the end of the Griffon? Hat tip to Sven.

[Source: The Local | Image: Olivier Morin/Getty]

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