Global Economics

GM Considers Saab Sale to Beijing Automotive


After the collapse of the Koenigsegg deal, the Chinese automaker's president says Beijing Auto will "move fast" on Saab

By Katie Merx, Jeff Green, and David Welch

(Bloomberg) — General Motors may sell parts of its Saab unit to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding and shutter the brand, two people familiar with the talks said. A sale of assets, including production machinery, is among GM's options, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. GM directors will review the future of Saab today after Koenigsegg Group last week withdrew a joint bid with Beijing Auto, the people said. Beijing Auto plans to "move fast" on Saab to help improve its technology, President Wang Dazong said Nov. 30. GM spurned an offer from the Chinese carmaker for its Ruesselsheim (Germany)-based Opel unit earlier this year and the Detroit-based carmaker decided to close its Saturn brand when Penske Automotive Group (PAG) withdrew a bid for the unit in September. Merbanco and Renco Group have also approached GM about Trollhaettan (Sweden)-based Saab, people familiar with the talks have said. The proposals received so far may not be strong enough to save the brand, the people said. GM had already developed a plan to shutter Saab if the sale fell through, people familiar with those plans said last week. Zheng Gang, a spokesman for Beijing Auto, declined to comment. Johan Willems, a GM spokesman in Shanghai, said he was not aware of any developments. To contact the reporters on this story: Katie Merx in Southfield, Michigan, at kmerx@bloomberg.net; Jeff Green in Southfield, Michigan, at jgreen16@bloomberg.net; David Welch in Southfield, Michigan, at david_welch@businessweek.com. Last Updated: December 1, 2009 02:09 EST


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