GM says it will sever Saab ties, cites risk of Chinese takeover
DETROIT -- General Motors said on Monday it had decided to sever ties to Saab and its commitment to supply it with vehicle components and the 9-4X model because of the risks posed by the pending sale of the Swedish auto brand to Chinese owners.
"Although General Motors is open to the continued supply of powertrains and other components to Saab under appropriate terms and conditions, GM will not agree to the continuation of the existing technology licenses or the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles to Saab following the proposed change in ownership as it would not be in the best interests of GM shareholders," GM spokesman Jim Cain said.
The statement represented a hardening in GM's opposition to the proposed rescue plan for Saab and appeared to lengthen the odds for the brand's survival.
On Friday, GM had said that it would be difficult to support a sale of Saab if it hurt GM's competitive position in China and other key markets.
China's Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile have struck a deal to buy Saab from its current Dutch owner, Swedish Automobile, in what amounts to a rescue plan for the Swedish auto brand formerly owned by GM.
GM controls preference shares in Saab and is a major supplier of vehicle components and must approve the Pang Da and Youngman takeover.
The deal for Swedish auto maker Saab will be revised after objections from GM, the chief executive of Swedish Automobile said on Monday.
"We have to go back to the drawing board," Saab Automobile CEO Victor Muller said.
Saab has lurched from crisis to crisis in the past year and has not produced a car in months. The company was given court protection from creditors in Sweden in September. It was the second time Saab received protection from creditors in two years.
Pang Da operates auto dealerships in China. Youngman produces commercial vehicles, including buses and trucks, and sells cars under the Lotus brand.Contact Automotive News