The court decision could open the way for Saab itself, unions or creditors to seek bankruptcy for a company where a chronic shortage of cash has halted production and left suppliers and workers unpaid.
Saab, which brought the application to win time for vital Chinese investment, said it would appeal the ruling and provide more information at some point today.
“We are not dead yet. We were not dead yesterday, we are definitely not dead today,” news agency TT quoted Victor Muller, chief executive of Saab’s owner Swedish Automobile , as saying.
The court set a deadline of 29 September for an appeal. A court spokeswoman said that while Saab had no court protection, petitions for bankruptcy could be made.
The Vanersborg district court in western Sweden said it was “unclear how the company would be able to solve its liquidity crisis and continue operations”.
Saab was rescued from closure by General Motors in 2010 by Amsterdam-listed Spyker Cars.