Saab CEO: bankruptcy is not necessarily the end of Saab image

Victor Muller, the chief executive of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab Automobile said that in some way is not all over for the Swedish company.

“With a bankruptcy, it is now possible to start with a clean slate,” Muller said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires late Monday.

According to Muller, there are still interested parties willing to take over Saab’s operations, but all such solutions would presuppose that a deal could be reached with former Saab owners General Motors, which has so far scuppered proposed deals involving Chinese owners.

“This is the most unwelcome Christmas gift I could have imagined,” said Fredrik Almqvist, 36, who has worked at Saab’s assembly line for nearly 17 years.

GM blocked the sale of Saab to would-be Chinese investors on fears that GM technology licenses and hardware would become property of Chinese rivals seeking any advantage to exploit in their campaign to become credible global automotive players.

GM bought a 50% stake and management control of Saab in 1989, and gained full ownership in 2000. The aircraft and defense company with the same name remained an independent entity, building fighter jets and weapons systems.