General Motors has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.
Chapter 11 protects GM from its creditors, which will allow the car maker to continue trading, but the company will have to undergo a court-supervised process to restructure its debts.
The US court process won't have a direct impact on the activities of GM Europe (made up of Opel and Vauxhall), which has entered into an agreement to be sold to Canadian car parts group Magna.
GM Europe says that its dealers, warranty and customer support operations are unaffected by the US ruling and that suppliers and employees will be paid as normal.
Saab is not included in the US order and GM is still trying to finalise a deal to secure its sale. A Swedish court has granted Saab an extension of the period during which it is protected from creditors.