Tony O'Kane | Feb 21, 2009

It appears that Saab will become the first of GM's European subsidiaries to divorce itself from its beleagured parent. The Swedish automaker has filed for bankruptcy and is initiating procedures to re-establish itself as an independent company.

The announcement comes shortly after GM's last-ditch failed bid to secure aid from the Swedish Government to prop up the Saab brand. However ditching GM and striking out on its own - while liberating - won't exactly be a simple process for Saab.

The marque aims to bring all of its resources back to Sweden and start anew, but the process of reorganising its assets will likely cost a hefty $1 billion USD - a bill that GM may have to foot, although Saab says it is pursuing investment from "both public and private sources".

A detailed proposal for the reorganisation is due in three weeks. But Saab will need to secure as much funding for the transition as it can during that time.

Saab's new 9-5, 9-3X and 9-4X are all due for launch over the next 18 months, and the company is optimistic that these new products will see its ledgers back in the black.

However, if those models are to have a chance of reaching showrooms by their due dates, Saab's split from GM will have to be a swift and well-funded one.

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