General Motors has announced that it will cut ties with Saab over its pending sale to two Chinese automakers. The threat has some very real consequences with GM stating it would cease manufacturing of the 9-4X crossover for Saab, as well as stop delivery of the parts it currently supplies the Swedish automaker with.
“Although General Motors is open to the continued supply of powertrains and other components to Saab under appropriate terms and conditions, G.M. will not agree to the continuation of the existing technology licenses or the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles to Saab following the proposed change in ownership as it would not be in the best interests of G.M. shareholders,” said Jim Cain, a General Motors spokesman in an interview with Reuters.
GM owned Saab until last year, selling it to Dutch exotic car maker Spyker, remaining connected despite the changed ownership. Money problems have plagued Saab since, bringing it to the brink of bankruptcy over the summer. A series of deals meant to save the company fell through, until current owner Swedish Automobile decided to sell Saab to Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pang Da Automobile Trade.
Therein lies the problem for GM, which objects to supplying its technology to Chinese companies and potentially threatening its sales in China and other markets. Monday’s announcement represents a hardened position compared to their Friday announcement suggesting the sale would be difficult to back.
Don’t forget that there haven’t been any final decisions made yet, Swedish Automobile said they will discuss the sale with G.M. before moving forward.
“I expect this to happen tomorrow. There are always alternatives but we only have limited time,” the chief executive of Swedish Automobile, Victor R. Muller, told Reuters in a text message.
[Source: The New York Times]