They're called uncharted waters, and everyone who has anything to do with Saab is floating in them. It's been a while since a global, decades-old automotive brand went bankrupt and wasn't rescued or provided immediate after-death care by a corporate parent, but that's the case with Saab, and no one's quite sure – not the company itself, nor dealers, nor employees, and certainly not customers – how this plays out.

There's the outside chance that another (presumably non-Chinese) company could swoop in and purchase the brand whole before the liquidation process takes hold, but as this didn't happen earlier, there's little reason to think that a white knight can be found at this late date.The bankruptcy has been filed and two receivers have been named, but there isn't even a timetable for who's going to get what, or what to do while everyone waits.

Why is that important? Take Saab's U.S. dealers: 188 dealerships have roughly 3,000 cars in inventory that they've already paid for but which have depreciated massively in the last 24 hours, and they don't know what they can expect to get from Saab by way of remuneration. Which is another way of saying that they don't know how much of a bath they're going to take on the cars in stock, much less winding down their stores. The conference call alerting dealers to the bankruptcy was just nine minutes long and didn't involve a Q&A because Saab "is waiting for directions from the court in Sweden." The dealer body is working to sort out customer liability issues and it will assuredly be lodging a claim against Saab for compensation.

Or take the marque's customers: through November of this year, there were more than 5,300 Saabs sold in the U.S. in 2011 and nearly 20,000 sold since the beginning of 2009. A Saab spokesperson has said dealers will continue their parts and service operations, but no one has any idea how long parts will continue to be available, and as of now, all warranty coverage has been at least temporarily suspended because the company might not have enough funds to pay for it.

Saab's 3,600-strong Swedish employees, who are still missing November wages, are now standing in the creditor line for a piece of the pie. Supposedly, part of Muller's reasoning for giving in now was to get the employees paid by Christmas – assuming there's anything at all in the cupboard – and assuming that's where the receivers would decide to dole out any of it in the next six days. Even mere observer and fellow Swedish brand Volvo could take a hit since Saab's exit deals a blow to the local supplier base.

Follow the jump to watch the post-filing press conference with boss Victor Muller, along with a short interview with Muller by SaabsUnited. For the complete breakdown, SaabsUnited also has a timeline of the night Saab declared bankruptcy on their website. Not the way anyone wanted the 64-year-old brand best known for the word "quirky" to come to an end. It is instead, as one Swedish government official declared, "horrific."





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      bretaa
      • 3 Years Ago
      > It is instead, as one Swedish government official declared, "horrific." Well, considering that the Swedish government not only did nothing but took actions that severely hastened Saab's decline, I'd say to Mr. Swedgov, "You get what you deserve."
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bretaa
        [blocked]
      Soccer Mom
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd buy a new 9-5 wagon at a discount. Great car, even without the warranty.
      MiddleClassMotoring
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess I was one of the optimists that held on to hope until the very end. I liked Saab. I had the opportunity last year to drive a new 9-3 2.0T 6-speed for a couple days. Sure, it was an aging design and lacked the newest technology. However, it was very well put together, and had plenty of endearing quirks and character. If it weren't for the uncertainty of the company, I'd find the 9-3 a compelling alternative compared to the likes of the TSX / Regal etc. So long, Saab. You'll be missed.
        Bird2112
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MiddleClassMotoring
        Walking is a compelling alternative to the TSX.
      Mikjam
      • 3 Years Ago
      saad
      Jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe if they had a 2 for 1 deal so I could get a parts car to go with it.
      JonZeke
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm dumping the Saab I have in the garage, I'm not interested in having part-sourcing conversations in a couple years. However for all those interested in 9-3s and 9-5s, there's a lot of "GM" stamped on parts for both those cars. Assuming you don't need sheetmetal, interior bits, or some of the weird Saab-specific modules parts content should be well supported for a long time. The water pump on the 9-3 for instance is the same as the Cobalt SS pump.
      aatbloke1967
      • 3 Years Ago
      This was what Saab was all about. It's a pity Saab's management never capitalised on it, and even more of a pity they sold out to GM whose management didn't even grasp the concept to begin with. http://www.saab99turbo.co.uk/99turbo.jpg I hope Saab can be saved in some or another, but if they don't, these will become seriously collectable.
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      I look at that very cool photo gallery at the bottom of the article, and get a little upset at what's happened to this awesome marque. Thanks a lot, GM--thanks for nothin'.
      Zoom
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's a red six-speed 9-5 in stock locally that I've been watching. $45k sticker selling for $28k. If only the new F30 series wasn't calling my name...
      cashsixeight
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is what should have happened to GM. Instead they get free bailout money, and their debts forgiven.
        walkoffwalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cashsixeight
        Not sure what your point is, GM should have filed bankruptcy? They should have filed for bankruptcy in Sweden? As part of GM's US bankruptcy portions of their debt was forgiven by a bankruptcy judge, and that same protection is available, under US law, to almost any US citizen or legal entity. Of course Saab did not file for bankruptcy in the US so US bankruptcy law doesn't apply to them, Sweden's bankruptcy laws do.
        themanwithsauce
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cashsixeight
        Saab made, at its peak, a fraction of the volume of either company. Not at all a fair comparison. Oh and theit upcoming models were good and they had many domestic suppliers. But no, youre right and they shouldvemade the economy even worse byvletting them die. Even though both partiea agreed it was a good idea to do so, YOU are correct mr. Anonymous person on the internet! In all seriousness that topic is dead, the bailout happened, this is about saab and that aldo already happened.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cashsixeight
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        onewayroll
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not a clue you have....GM blocked any chance of any Saab survival, the Chinese were interested in Saab, if only to get there hands on the tech.
          Bird2112
          • 3 Years Ago
          @onewayroll
          Only because the Chinese are in the stone age...wait, so is GM...nevermind
          • 3 Years Ago
          @onewayroll
          [blocked]
      50 AKA Ferrari
      • 3 Years Ago
      LMAO what comes next is unemployment line like Sea Urchin said. Dust off those resumes!
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