The Dutch owner of Swedish car maker Saab said on Monday that the rejection of a rescue plan for the ailing firm by former owner and key supplier General Motors had forced it to apply for bankruptcy.

The decision sets the scene for the end of Saab's struggle to survive after months of hastily drawn up deals for a car maker which has not made a vehicle for months. The latest plan involved Chinese car maker Youngman, but this was vetoed by General Motors at the weekend.

After having received the recent position of GM on the contemplated transaction with Saab Automobile, Youngman informed Saab Automobile that the funding to continue and complete the reorganization of Saab Automobile could not be concluded, Saab owner Swedish Automobile (Swan) said in a statement.

The Board of Saab Automobile subsequently decided that the company without further funding will be insolvent and that filing bankruptcy is in the best interests of its creditors.

It expected the court shortly to approve the filing and appoint receivers. Swan does not expect to realize any value from its shares, the company added.

(Reporting by Patrick Lannin)