2011 Saab 9-4X

2011 Saab 9-4X

Swedish public radio is reporting that Saab will apply for court protection from its creditors, which would mark the first step in a reorganization bankruptcy for the Swedish automaker.

Several different sources were cited, adding to the validity of the information, but no timetable for the filing was given.

Saab has officially declined to comment on the report, saying only that it continues to work on raising the funds necessary to restart production. Its latest statement on the matter indicates that Saab has reached agreements with the majority of its component  suppliers, but recent reports say the automaker may again miss or delay payroll for its employees.

Production has largely been halted since April, when suppliers stopped delivering parts to Saab over unpaid invoices. Plans were to restart production by the end of this month, but even the funding amassed to date may prove insufficient to get the Trollhattan plant operational again in the next few days.

If the report is correct, and if Saab receives an order of protection from the court, the next step is a reorganizational bankruptcy. Under the stewardship of a court-appointed administrator, Saab will need to devise a plan to emerge as a viable and profitable business, which will only be more challenging thanks to the strained relationship with its creditors and consumers alike.

We’ve said before that Saab is running out of lives, so perhaps a reorganizational bankruptcy is the only way left to save the company. One question remains: even if a healthier Saab emerges from bankruptcy, will customers be willing to take a chance on the brand?