Saab Story May Not Be Over as Spyker Renews Bid

saab-story-may-not-be-over-as-spyker-renews-bidIt appears the final chapter for Saab Automobiles remains to be written. General Motors has reportedly received several inquiries from potential buyers after announcing Friday it would shutter the Swedish car maker. One such offer comes from Spyker Cars, the Dutch sports car manufacturer whose previous bid was rejected by GM, leading to the shutdown announcement. Spyker said Sunday that it had submitted a revised bid which expires at 5 p.m. ET Monday.%%DynaPub-Enhancement class="enhancement contentType-HTML Content fragmentId-1 payloadId-61603 alignment-right size-small"%%In a statement, Spyker said its revised proposal addresses issues that arose during negotiations with GM and removes the obstacles that inhibited a swift transaction. "We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer," said Spyker CEO Victor Muller.

Spyker's revised proposal still honors the Dec. 31 deadline set by GM by eliminating the need for a European Investment Bank loan approval and has the full backing of Saab management.

GM declined comment on Spyker's offer or on those of any other bidders. "We will evaluate each inquiry," GM said in an e-mailed statement to BusinessWeek magazine, without identifying the parties that made offers. "We will not comment further until these evaluations have been completed."

Abandoning Saab would result in the loss of 3,400 jobs in Sweden and affect 1,100 dealers.

GM To Focus on Four "Core" Brands

Spyker emerged as the latest suitor for Saab after followed last month's collapse of a bid by Swedish luxury car maker Koenigsegg Group to buy the 72-year-old automaker.

GM began its search to sell the brand, long known for its quirky character, nearly a year ago as part of an effort become "a leaner organization." The Detroit-based automaker is focusing its efforts and resources on four "core" brands -- Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC -- which it believes are its strongest.

If Spyker's latest offer is rejected, it's nearly certain GM will shutter the brand. Saab would then join a growing list of GM makes that have been canceled in recent years, beginning with Oldsmobile in 2004. Earlier this year, GM decided to kill Pontiac, which has been part of the parent company's portfolio since 1926. In September, a plan to sell GM's Saturn brand to Penske Automotive Group (PAG) fell apart. GM is currently in the process of winding down Saturn.
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