Saab given a week to come up with credible rescue deal

Saab's Trollhattan factory
Image caption Production at Saab's Trollhattan factory has been suspended since April

Saab's owners have been given less than a week to come up with a credible rescue plan or else enter bankruptcy.

The decision by a Swedish court has come in response to an application from the troubled carmaker's administrator.

A possible agreement to sell Saab to two Chinese firms had been blocked by former owner and main supplier, General Motors, because it objected to the transfer of intellectual property.

Saab still owes money to its suppliers and its 3,700 employees.

Workers have yet to receive their wages for November, and last week their two unions applied to the court for payment.

Production at the firm's Trollhattan plant has been suspended since April.

'Plan B'

"We still have five to six days to do it," said Gunilla Gustavs, a spokesperson for Saab.

"We're continuing to talk with the Chinese to reach a solution."

Saab's owner Swedish Automobile (Swan) - formerly called Spyker - said it was still talking to one of the two Chinese firms, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile, as well as a Chinese bank.

But GM repeated its opposition to a deal with a Chinese buyer.

The US firm previously threatened to stop supplying technology and cars to Saab if the carmaker was sold to Chinese investors.

Youngman, along with Pang Da Automobile Trade, had agreed to buy Saab for 100m euros ($138m; £86m) until the deal was vetoed by GM.

That failed deal followed a previous court application by Saab's administrator, Guy Lofalk, to overturn the carmaker's current bankruptcy protection.

Its bankruptcy protection is in any case due to expire on 21 December.

"[Swan chief executive] Victor Muller says there is always a plan B," Ms Gustavs added, without elaborating.

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