Friday, December 18, 2009

Saab Winding Down Operations After Spyker Sale Fails

General Motors will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations after GM failed to complete a sale transaction with Dutch car builder Spyker Cars. Spyker said that during the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe cannot be resolved prior to the December 31st deadline set by GM. Spyker became involved in acquiring Saab after the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month.

GM says it "expects 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."

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.

BMW Is Favorite To Gain Saab Buyers -
With the announcement today that GM will shutter its Saab division, BMW may be a winner, according to cross-shopping data from  Thirty-three percent of Saab shoppers also looked at BMW vehicles while researching and comparing new and used vehicles on, a larger percentage than looked at any other brand.

31% of Saab shoppers also looked at Audi models listed for sale on  29% looked at Volvo, 27% at VW and Toyota, 24% at Honda and Mercedes-Benz, 23% at Ford and 22% at Chevrolet. Having said that, Saab's year-to-date 2009 sales in the U.S. through November stands at 7,812, a 61.3% drop from 2008, so when that kind of low volume is scattered around, will it really make a difference?

In other GM news, the company says it will begin loan repayments to the U.S. and Canadian and Ontario governments, paying $1.0 billion to the U.S. Treasury and $192 million to Export Development Canada.