Saab’s new owner faces bankruptcy petition

Chinese-owned automaker NEVS, the owner of the Swedish brand Saab, is in default, a Swedish court said on Tuesday after receiving a notice from an unpaid supplier.

Saab's new owner faces bankruptcy petition

"We have received a bankruptcy petition against NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden)," Vänersborg district court spokeswoman Mona-Lisa Johansson told AFP.

NEVS was created in June 2012 to buy Saab, which filed for bankruptcy in December 2011.

Johansson added that a hearing to discuss the company's future would be held on September 18th.

NEVS is owned by China's National Modern Energy Holdings (78 percent) and the Chinese city of Qingdao (22 percent).

Production resumed in late 2013, with the aim to make electric cars for the Chinese market.

But financial trouble grew in the last months, raising concerns among union members in the historic industrial site of Trollhättan, where the company has 250 employees.

NEVS was not available for a comment on Tuesday afternoon.

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Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.