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What could happen to Saab?


Bruce Nunnally

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STOCKHOLM, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The future of Sweden's Saab Automobile looks bleak after tiny luxury car maker Koenigsegg, backed by China's BAIC, pulled out of a deal to buy the loss-making firm from General Motors [GM.UL].

Saab never made money for its U.S. parent, which bought a 50 percent stake in 1990 and completed the purchase a decade later. Sales of the brand have nose-dived and GM, which itself emerged from bankruptcy in July, had said it would sever its ties with the Swedish firm at the end of this year.

Saab said it made a loss of about 3 billion Swedish crowns ($433 million) in 2008 and expected to lose a similar amount this year. Its survival plan envisaged returning to profitability in 2011.

GM wants to slim down and focus on core brands -- Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

GM's board meets on Tuesday with Saab likely to top the agenda.

Here are some possible outcomes for Saab.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/americasMer...E5AO17M20091125

Bruce

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DETROIT - A person briefed on General Motors Co.'s plans says the automaker has not talked to any other potential buyers for the Swedish Saab brand.

GM's board is to meet on Tuesday to discuss the brand's fate after a group led by Swedish specialty car maker Koenigsegg Automotive AB pulled out of a deal to buy Saab.

The person asked not to be identified because the board has made no decision on what to do with Saab.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34149700/ns/business-autos/

Bruce

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Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Merbanco Inc. and Renco Group Inc. have made approaches about General Motors Co.’s Saab unit after a sale to Koenigsegg Group collapsed, two people familiar with the situation said.

No written proposals have been submitted and any new bids or other options for the Swedish unit will be reviewed by Detroit-based GM’s board at a meeting on Dec. 1, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.

More: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...GG5P8&pos=5

Bruce

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DETROIT – The GM Board of Directors has received expressions of interest in Saab since the conclusion of negotiations with Koenigsegg Group AB. The Board will evaluate potential bids between now and the end of December. At that time, we will determine whether a suitable arrangement for Saab exists. If not, we will begin an orderly wind down of the global Saab business at that time.

Due to non-disclosure agreements, we will not confirm or comment on any potential transactions or other matters unless, and until, we determine that disclosure is appropriate.

Bruce

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  • 3 weeks later...

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.

A media conference call with John Smith GM Vice President, Corporate Planning and Alliances will take place at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time.

Call-in-details are as follows:

Teleconference Dial-In Number(s) for Media:

United States: (800) 230-1059

International: (612) 234-9960

No Passcode required. Operators will request Name & Affiliation

Bruce

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  • 2 weeks later...
GM has canned tomorrow’s deadline for the closure of Saab and announced that production lines will roll again to fulfil orders for the new 9-5 and 9-3 Cabrio the company has announced.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/Saab/246198/

Still for sale or due to be closed, but orders to fill. Decision on closure put off a month?

Bruce

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