Last-minute Dutch bid for Saab

Sports carmaker Spyker submits revised offer for loss-making Swedish car firm.

    The closure of the Swedish car firm would put thousands of jobs at risk [AFP]

    In a statement GM said it had also received other offers to buy loss-making Saab following Friday's announcement that it was to close the firm.

    "We will evaluate each inquiry. We will not comment further until these evaluations have been completed," GM said in a statement.

    The Detroit-based car giant had previously set a deadline of December 31 to seal a
    Deal to sell Saab.

    GM said on Friday that it would close Saab after failing to find a buyer [AFP]

    It had originally entered talks with Spyker after a deal with Swedish luxury car builder Koenigsegg collapsed last month.

    The closure of the 60-year-old carmaker would mean the loss of thousands of jobs, most of them at its main plant in Trollhattan, Sweden.

    Saab directly employs at least 3,400 people in Sweden, but up to 15,000 jobs at suppliers and subcontractors could also be at risk if the firm closes.

    Gert-Inge Andersson, leader of the Trollhattan government, said he did not yet dare to believe in the new offer.

    "It's bordering on torture, of citizens and the employees at Saab, when messages like these fly back and forth,'' he told local news agency TT.

    GM, which acquired Saab in 1990, is trying to restore profitability after a massive bankruptcy restructuring aided by the US and Canadian governments.

    The company has previously decided to discontinue its Saturn and Pontiac brands in the US and has reached a deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese buyer.

    The focus on core brands "will enable the company to devote more engineering and marketing resources to each brand and model," GM said.

    Under GM's stewardship Saab rarely posted a profit and last year lost about $340m.

    Saab's history as an automaker dates back to the 1940s when the first cars were produced by the Swedish aircraft maker Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget or SAAB.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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