Report: GM Shutting Down Saab

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

General Motors has announced it will close down Saab after discussions to sell the brand fell through.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time,” said Nick Reilly, president of GM Europe. “In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution.”

GM had been in discussions to sell Saab to Spyker Cars but was unable to resolve some issues with the Dutch manufacturer. Last month, Koenigsegg also had interest in acquiring Saab before backing out.

Reilly says Saab will continue to honor warranties and provide service and parts to current owners.

Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings’ purchase of some Saab property, notably 9-3 and 9-5 powertrain technology, is not expected to be impacted by today’s annoucement.

Official release after the jump:

Detroit. General Motors announced today that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded. After the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month, GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars about its interest in acquiring Saab. During the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe could not be resolved. As a result, GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time. In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution,” said GM Europe President Nick Reilly. “We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars. We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner. This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process. Consequently, we expect Saab to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and to wind down production and the distribution channel in an orderly manner while looking after our customers.”

Saab will continue to honor warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current Saab owners around the world.

As part of its efforts to become a leaner organization, GM began seeking a buyer for Saab’s operations in January. Last week, Saab Automobile AB announced that it had closed on the sale of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. (BAIC). GM expects today’s announcement to have no impact on the earlier sale.

As the company continues to reinvent itself, GM has been faced with some very difficult but necessary business decisions. The focus will remain on the four core brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – and several regional brands, including Opel / Vauxhall in Europe. This will enable the company to devote more engineering and marketing resources to each brand and model.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

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  • Ted Ted on Dec 24, 2009

    Typical american unsuccesful enterprise example. With high sales, they found a way to invest then did nothing to push the brand, added nothingon the safety or other features, just took advantage of the legacy, and put a 1.8 cc engine to make it more accessible to the public (that's the only positive input). And now they won't sell it to protect the largely borrowed know-how. What know-how? Smae story with opel. In both cases who is to blame other than the american government which supported with tax payers money the GM and allowed them to play it hard. Ford sold vovlo, but these GM guys are not willing to sell it becaue there is no bonus involved in this. Too bad one of the brnads which paved the way in safety years before the others thought abiout it, will go down.

  • Boyd Boyd on Jan 02, 2010

    GM should simplify their product line and invest their resources into into the best of the best. Long ago they should have dropped Pontiac, Olds and Hummer.Buick as well. Just make the Cadillacs a little afforable to cover Buick. Also forget about GMC. Put that commercial grade into ALL Chevrolet products. Keepers should include: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Saab and Saturn. That spectrum would accomodate all buyers. I own a Chevrolet truck, a SAAB 900s and purchased Saturns for my daughters. They are all outsanding vehichles. I did plan on another SAAB but will go to another brand completely if GM ruins SAAB. They need to wake up!