GM prepares to kill off Saab

Karoug

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I thought it was important enough to give it it's own thread...

US car maker General Motors is to shut down Saab as talks collapse with Dutch sportscar manufacturer Spyker over the acquisition of GM's Swedish unit, Reuters reports

Spyker's shares have plummeted by 13 percent on the Dutch stock exchange on news reports suggesting GM will not have time to perform due diligence before the December 31st deadline for the deal as set by the GM board.

GM chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre revealed on Tuesday that Spyker was the only bidder in the running for the sale.

Whitacre intimated a Saab wind-down was inevitable unless a deal could be reached with Spyker.

More information soon.

Linky!

Don't know how i feel about this. I feel for all the workers down in Trollh?ttan, but the brand has not turned a profit in many years.
 
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gaasc

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Well, Saab had a good run, i mean they did the 9-2x and the night panel. I'll miss them.
 

public

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*rubs hands excitedly, waits for the prices of well-kept, low-mileage Saabs to plummet*

Yeap, it's the only positive thing about this terribleness.
 

Pedrocas

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So, now that Saab has launch the new 9-5 and spent money developing the car and building it and all GM decides to shut it down? Makes no sense.
 

Homer_Bart

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From Jalopnik, just moments ago.

Saab Sale Cannot Be Concluded
Brand to be Wound Down

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.
 
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Dr_Grip

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Momentum57

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What I took from their release I will translate for those who do not speak legalese or business jargon.

"...clear that due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time"

Our lawyers told us that we were going to get raped on the deal, and that it would take a long time to do it right. Also our lawyers want to be to get paid up front for some reason.

"We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner."

We are having SAAB shred as much correspondence as possible.

"This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process."

WE ARE IN bankruptcy AND THIS IS A forced liquidation process
 

Blind_Io

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Just as we've seen the rebirth of companies like Ascari and Spyker, I predict that Saab will rise again.
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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I get the feeling that GM was not keen on deal making here. Sad to see them go.
 

pepitko

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some more info:

GM to Close Saab After Ending Sale Talks With Spyker (Update2)
By Katie Merx and Ola Kinnander
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOIIYP2v.TOo&pos=1

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. said it will shut the money-losing Saab unit after talks collapsed on a sale to Spyker Cars NV, the second failure in less than a month to keep the 72-year-old Swedish brand alive.

GM and Spyker, a Dutch maker 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.

Closing Saab caps more than a month of reshuffling of GM?s European operations. On Nov. 3, the Detroit-based automaker reversed plans to sell the Opel unit and opted to keep it, and Koenigsegg Group AB backed out of a Saab purchase agreement three weeks later, creating an opening for Spyker.

?If you were a gambling man, you would have bet this deal would not close because none of the other deals have closed,? said Mike Tyndall, an analyst with Nomura Securities in London.

GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre said Dec. 15 that the Trollhaettan, Sweden-based unit would be shut unless he had a sales accord by month?s end.

?We were so incredibly close,? Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in a text message to Bloomberg News. ?I have no words.?

Spyker fell 33 cents, or 15 percent, to 1.86 euros at 3:59 p.m. on the Amsterdam exchange. The shares touched 1.62 euros earlier for the biggest intraday decline since Sept. 30, 2008.

?Complex Transaction?

?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,? GM Europe President Nick Reilly said in the statement. ?In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution.?

Saab?s closing will be ?an orderly winddown,? he said, and ?not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process.?

An agreement announced last week for the sale of Saab powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. shouldn?t be affected by the shutdown plan, GM said.

Whitacre told reporters in Detroit this week that Spyker was the last bidder for Saab, which traces its roots to aircraft company Svenska Aeroplan AB, founded in 1937 to secure production of Swedish warplanes. The first car left the factory a decade later.

Sales, Jobs

GM bought half of Saab in 1990 and took full ownership in 2000. U.S. sales of Saab models tumbled 61 percent through this year?s first 11 months, and the biggest U.S. automaker identified the brand as one of four -- along with Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer -- it would shed to streamline operations.

Saab employs about 3,500 workers at its Trollhaettan plant, and its closing puts thousands more jobs in the region and among auto suppliers in Sweden at risk.

The Swedish government found out early today that the Saab deal collapsed and doesn?t know why, Industry Ministry spokesman Haakan Lind said in a phone interview. Industry Minister Maud Olofsson and State Secretary Joeran Haegglund, the government?s main liaison to the auto industry, visited Saab?s headquarters and plan a press conference at 4 p.m. local time, Lind said.

Spyker emerged as the front-runner to buy Saab this month. Spyker used Koenigsegg?s business plan in its bid, Muller said yesterday.

GM is focusing on the Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands in the U.S. Saturn is being wound down after a planned sale to Penske Automotive Group Inc. fell through in September. GM has agreed to sell Hummer to China?s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., pending regulatory approval.

To contact the reporters on this story: Katie Merx in Southfield, Michigan, at kmerx@bloomberg.netOla Kinnander in Stockholm at okinnander@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: December 18, 2009 10:06 EST
 

Labcoatguy

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Just as we've seen the rebirth of companies like Ascari and Spyker, I predict that Saab will rise again.

Saab could be the new Mini if some big company buys it up. Mercedes would be a great owner; that way it could kill all its FWD cars and and put all that money into a brand that's known for FWD.
 

gt1750

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Damn, this makes me sad. I love Saabs and I was looking forward to see the new 9-5 on the roads and eventually in my garage.

:cry:
 

argatoga

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Sucks for the workers, and my sympathy for them, but Saab has never made anything interesting to me. The only Saab that I wouldn't mind owning was a Subaru.
 

Clegko

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Sucks for the workers, and my sympathy for them, but Saab has never made anything interesting to me. The only Saab that I wouldn't mind owning was a Subaru.

In all honestly, i'd prefer the Saab version of a Subaru over the Subaru version.

Quite sad to see Saab go, but I know that i've seen fuckall of them on the roads in the past 8 or so years. One or two scattered here and there, but that's it.
 

argatoga

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In all honestly, i'd prefer the Saab version of a Subaru over the Subaru version.

Quite sad to see Saab go, but I know that i've seen fuckall of them on the roads in the past 8 or so years. One or two scattered here and there, but that's it.

I'd prefer a 9-2X over the same year WRX too. Thing is the 9-2X was built by Subaru at the same plant they built the regular Imprezas.
 

argatoga

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Saab's main mainstays were shity two stroke engines (later replaced by Ford and Triumph units) and FWD. I don't see any compelling reason to get one.

I do like their recent styling though.
 
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