Saab is to be closed down by General Motors, after no new buyer for the troubled 72-year-old Swedish brand could be found. GM's European president Nick Reilly said Friday no deal could be reached with the sole remaining bidder, Spyker Cars.
“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,” he said. “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.”
GM bought half of Saab in 1990 and took full ownership in 2000, but sales have plummeted since GM announced that Saab was one of the four brands it would shed as part of its bankruptcy recovery plan. The company has already a agreed to a deal with Chinese manufacturer BAIC to sell the rights to the current 9-3 and old 9-5, and this had been expected to keep the firm afloat for another three months while the deal to sell the rest of the company to Spyker was finalized. However, GM and Spyker, a Dutch-based manufacturer of $235,000 sports cars, faced “certain issues” that couldn't be resolved, according to a GM statement today. Saab is expected to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and the unit will honor warranties and provide service and spare parts, GM said.
Pontiac and Saturn suffered similar fates to Saab's when GM failed to find a buyer for those brands, while Hummer has been sold to a Chinese consortium. GM said it will honor all existing warranties for Saab owners.