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Saab's US unit hopes to avoid bankruptcy

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08:47 CET+01:00
The North American unit of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab will try to avoid going into bankruptcy itself to keep up warranties for recent car buyers and support dealers left with inventory, a company official said Wednesday.

Tim Colbeck, president of Saab Cars North America, based outside of Detroit, said in a telephone interview that the unit has hired consultants to avoid creditors forcing them into filing for bankruptcy protection while they sort out what can be done with remaining assets.

"We hope to avoid filing for bankruptcy," he said.

The consultants, McTevia & Associates, will sort out and organize the claims SCNA is facing and figure out an equitable way to deal with them, Colbeck said.

He declined to say what kind of assets there were, but he said SCNA hoped to reinstate the warranties of car owners who bought Saabs before 2010 while it was still controlled by General Motors.

Colbeck said SCNA has been overwhelmed with calls and messages from Saab owners who are in despair over the company's shutdown.

"There is a lot of emotion," he said.

Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy on Monday, bringing to an end two years of efforts to rescue the iconic brand which has been the hallmark of Swedish cars for six decades.

In Sweden, insurance company If, in cooperation with Swedish Saab dealerships, has said it will cover the costs associated with the company's vehicle damage warranty through 2012 for the roughly 2,000 vehicles sold in Sweden during the last year.

Meanwhile, GM has confirmed it has set aside $100 million in special reserve to deal with claims that could arise from the collapse of Saab.

The reserve will be used mainly to settle the claims of suppliers who might have made parts for the 2012 Saab 94-X, which GM had planned to build for the company in Mexico.

Saab's bankruptcy filing in Sweden, devalued the franchises of Saab dealers in the United States and Canada and left thousands of owners without warranty coverage if they bought a new Saab after March, 2010, after its sale to Spyker Cars, now known as Swedish Automobile (Swan), of the Netherlands was finalized.

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