GM has said it will “wind down” Saab, which employs around 3,000 people, after talks to sell the brand to Dutch manufacturer Spyker Cars collapsed and the Swedish government said it would not step in to save the carmaker.
GM had also been in talks to sell Saab to niche luxury carmaker Koenigsegg, with the backing of China’s BAIC but the deal fell through in November, and GM said it would consider other offers until the end of the year, and then decide whether to close the unit.
BAIC said earlier this week it had agreed to buy some assets from Saab, including the intellectual properaty for the 9-5 and 9-3 sedans, as part of a push to develop its own-brand cars.
‘It is very dismal. Very sad news for all of the employees and it comes at the worst possible time’, Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson told the Swedish news agency TT.
‘I don’t think GM really knows how the wind-down is going to take place, but GM has to take its responsibility,’ she said.
Last year Saab lost 3billion kronor (£255million) and has not made a profit since 2001.