General Motors (GM) says it is closing its Swedish venture, Saab Automobile AB, as talks to sell the loss-making brand to Dutch automaker Spyker Cars collapsed yesterday.
Last month Sweden's Koenigsegg Group had called off plans to acquire the brand.
The Zeewolde-based sports car specialist, Spyker and the Swedish government, which was in talks with GM Saab said that the sale was too complicated to be completed in a short time.
"We worked 24/7 for three weeks, but the complexity of the transaction in combination with the strict deadline simply did not allow us to complete the transaction," said Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker in a statement.
Sweden's minister for enterprise, Maud Olofsson put the onus on GM for not doing enough to save Saab during the 20 years it controlled the brand during which its losses mounted. Olofsson said at a news conference in Trollhattan, Sweden, yesterday, "It's GM who took this decision on their own grounds, and they have to answer to that by themselves."
The GM board had put a month-end deadline to conclude a sale and with deal collapsing, GM said it would shut down Saab operations, including its production hub in Trollhattan, Sweden, starting in early January. It said Saab would satisfy debts, including supplier payments and honor warranties.