General Motors confirmed today that the proposed sale of its Saab subsidiary to Koenigsegg Group AB was terminated at the discretion of the buyer.
“We’re obviously very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase,” said GM President and CEO, Fritz Henderson. “Many have worked tirelessly over the past several months to create a sustainable plan for the future of Saab by selling the brand and its manufacturing interests to Koenigsegg Group AB. Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week.”
The withdrawal by Koenigsegg, which said that it ran out of time to complete a deal, is the third brand sale to fail since GM’s July 10 bankruptcy. GM pulled out of the sale of Vauxhall/Opel to a group led by Magna International, and Penske Automotive Group withdrew from its plan to buy Saturn.
“Time always played a critical factor in our strategy for reviving the company,” Christian von Koenigsegg said in a statement. “Unfortunately, delays in closing this acquisition have resulted in risks and uncertainties that prevent us from successfully implementing the new Saab business plan.”
General Motors may now be forced to shut down Saab. GM may now fall back on its contingency plan, whereby existing Saab owners would continue to be covered by GM warranties and be assigned to a new dealership for service.
It will be a sad day to see Saab close its doors, but sales are down more than 60% in the US and show little signs of recovering without a significant investment in new products.