GM to decide on Saabs future next week

Written by Bloomberg | Updated: Dec 31 2009, 04:59am hrs
General Motors Co is prepared to wait until next week before deciding on the future of the Saab unit as it reviews remaining bids, according to Paul Aakerlund, a Saab board member.

GM told Saab last week that it would wind down the Swedish brand and simultaneously continue talks with bidders about a sale, said Aakerlund, who also heads the IF Metall union at Saab. Talks to sell Saab to Spyker Cars NV collapsed Dec 18 and Spyker chief executive officer Victor Muller blamed the failed deal partly on a strict deadline for an agreement by the end of this month. The Dutch carmaker submitted a new offer Dec 20.

Its our understanding that if theres a bid that GM finds sufficiently interesting, then the 31st of December is not a date thats holy, Aakerlund said in a telephone interview today. Theyre working with the bids theyve received for Saab. Spyker and others are very willing to buy Saab, so were still hoping for that solution.

GM said Dec 20 that it had received inquiries from several parties about Saab. The brand is among four being sold or shut as GM focuses on Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac after its July 10 bankruptcy exit.

Saab hasnt started the wind-down process, Aakerlund said. Saabs factory in Trollhaettan is closed for the holidays and is scheduled to reopen Jan. 11.

We still havent received any clear instructions about what a wind-down would entail, Aakerlund said. Its far from certain they will say anything the next few days.

GMs position hasnt changed from a Dec. 18 statement about Saabs future, Chris Preuss, a company spokesman in Detroit, said yesterday. We are winding down Saab and talking with interested parties as part of that process. We will not comment further, he said in an e-mail.