Thursday, January 21, 2010
R.I.P.: General Motors Announces the Death of SAAB
Just moments ago, General Motors announced that it will be closing down its money-losing SAAB unit after concluding that the sale of the Swedish brand to tiny Dutch supercar maker, Spyker Cars, could not be completed in the time frame that had been set.
"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. We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars," said GM Europe President Nick Reilly.
General Motors had turned to Spyker Cars after a failed effort to sell the Swedish brand to a consortium led by the Koenigsegg Group AB.
The Detroit automaker said that Saab will continue to honor warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current owners around the world.
"We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner," Reilly said. "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."
What GM did not say, is what's going to happen with the Swedish firm's upcoming models such as the all-new 9-5 sedan and the Cadillac SRX-based, 9-4x.
Earlier this week, the Detroit automaker revealed that it had come to an agreement with China's BAIC for the sale of the intellectual rights of the current-generation Saab 9-5 (not the 2010 model shown in Frankfurt) and certain 9-3 models.
Saab follows the same fate as several other GM-owned brands such as Pontiac and Saturn which were also axed.