Saab deal in jeopardy
It appears that Saab may not be out of the woods just yet.
General Motors (GM) says it will sever its partnership with Saab if the pending sale to two Chinese companies goes through.
Saab owner Swedish Automobile has a deal in place to sell the Saab brand to China's Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.
GM, Saab's previous owner, currently supplies the Swedish automaker with components as well as building the Saab 9-4X crossover model - currently the only Saab vehicle being produced as Saab production has been shut down for months due to a lack of operating capital.
GM spokesperson Jim Cain issued this statement yesterday:
"Although General Motors is open to the continued supply of powertrains and other components to Saab under appropriate terms and conditions, GM will not agree to the continuation of the existing technology licenses or the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles to Saab following the proposed change in ownership as it would not be in the best interests of GM shareholders."
GM believes that supplying technology to Chinese firms would hurt its competitiveness in China, the world's largest automobile market.
Swedish Automobile said it will try to revise its deal with the two Chinese firms in order to accommodate GM's objections.
"We have to go back to the drawing board," said Victor Muller, Saab Automobile's CEO.
We hope for Saab's sake that something can be worked out. They may not be the most dynamic brand out there, but it's a sad day when any auto maker faces extinction, let alone one with such a rich history.
Image courtesy of Saab