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GM puts Saab into liquidation despite new bids

It is irresponsible of GM to go in two directions, both pursuing the sale and the winding up, says Loefven

GM puts Saab into liquidation despite new bids

General Motors' loss-making unit Saab was put into liquidation Friday despite last-ditch bids for the iconic Swedish brand by Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Dutch sportscar maker Spyker among others.
The U.S. auto giant confirmed the Swedish brand's closure Friday, saying it had selected consulting firm AlixPartners "to supervise the orderly wind down of Saab."
"The wind down process is expected to take several months and will ensure that employees, dealers and suppliers are adequately protected," the company said.
GM also said it had "received several proposals for Saab and is continuing to evaluate these proposals. This evaluation is not affected by the appointment of AlixPartners."
The head of Sweden's influential IF Metall union, Stefan Loefven, blasted GM for moving to close the company at the same time as it is evaluating bids for the loss-making brand.
"It is irresponsible of GM as an owner to go in two directions, both pursuing the sale (of Saab) and the winding up," Loefven said.
Several groups, including Dutch sportscar maker Spyker and one comprised of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and a Luxembourg investment firm, said they presented GM with last-ditch bids to rescue Saab.
Swedish media also reported Friday a Swedish group was interested in acquiring Saab and scaling down its operations to build 45,000 to 50,000 cars a year.
In 2008, the last year for which figures are available, Saab sold 93,295 cars worldwide.
"It is unintelligible and irresponsible to (start the wind down) now without reviewing the serious bids that have been placed for Saab," Loefven said.
"GM's decision is not in line with the signals we have received from the company about its sincere intentions of wanting to sell Saab and seriously reviewing incoming bids," he added.
GM Europe's spokesman Stefan Weinmann explained to AFP on Friday that his company was going ahead with the closure of Saab but at the same time considering any new bids.
"Essentially, the two processes will continue in parallel ... we will look at the proposals and analyse them and see whether we can find a good solution for everybody," he said.
GM's actions regarding the Saab sale, which it put on the block a year ago, have been repeatedly criticised by the Swedish government and Saab's unions, with questions arising over whether the U.S. giant really intended to sell the unit.
"We will see what we can do, in order to, if possible, contribute to a positive sale of Saab," Joeran Haegglund, Swedish enterprise ministry state secretary, told Swedish news agency TT on Friday.


Updated : 2021-10-21 04:07 GMT+08:00