Continued uncertainty over fate of Saab

Continued uncertainty over fate of Saab
Saab Automobile's future remained in the balance on Monday as the head of General Motors signalled the wind-down of the Swedish carmaker was moving ahead, while other sources said that discussions continue with at least one suitor.

GM is still talking to Dutch sportscar maker Spyker about the sale of Saab after beginning a wind-down of operations last week, a source familiar with the talks said on Monday.

Spyker is “the only one” with an “attractive” offer, the source said, adding that additional information may be available later in the week.

A GM spokesman said there was no new information on Saab after Friday’s announcement of “an orderly wind-down” of its Swedish unit.

Meanwhile, GM chair and acting CEO Ed Whitacre said on Monday that Saab was to be shut down.

“We’re closing down Saab,” he told reporters at the Detroit auto show, according to the Reuters news agency.

“We really haven’t decided to do anything other than close down Saab.”

Speaking to the TT news agency, however, Whitacre signaled that GM would sell if “someone with a lot of money came quickly”.

When asked for specifics, the GM CEO elaborated.

“Give us $450 million dollars and we’re in a different situation,” he told TT.

GM said on Friday it would consider any late proposals for the brand even as it began shutting down operations. GM hired the consulting firm AlixPartners “to supervise the orderly wind-down of Saab.”

The US auto giant, in the process of a massive restructuring after bankruptcy last year, said the process for Saab is expected to take several months.

Union leaders in Sweden blasted GM for moving to close the company at the same time as it is evaluating bids for the loss-making brand.

Saab employs 3,400 people in Sweden and is among the brands being shed by GM as part of a massive restructuring effort that began in 2005 and accelerated last year when the largest US automaker went bankrupt.

Analysts have warned that some 8,000 jobs could be lost with Saab’s closure.

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