Saab losses “drag GM down”

Loss-making Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile is expected to drag parent company General Motors' European division's results for the fourth quarter into the red, according to a source close to the company quoted by Reuters.

Problems at Saab are overshadowing improvements at GM’s German operation Opel. Saab is suffering from having too few models, and its 9-5 model is beginning to look outdated. Opel has experienced an upswing thanks to a comprehensive restructuring programme and a number of new models.

According to German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Opel is expected to break even in 2005. Next year it is expected to show a profit of several hundred million euros, the paper reports.

Reuters also claims that Opel is expected to reach break even point this year.

GM Europe showed a net loss of $216 million for the first nine months of 2005. According to Handelsblatt the result for the whole year will be $300 million, more than halving last year’s loss. Earlier this year, expectations were that the division would lose $500 million.

TT/The Local