‘We’re closing down Saab’, says GM’s Ed Whitacre

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

Saab's production of the 9-3, current 9-5 and replacement 9-5 may have restarted at the company's Trollhattan plant but that doesn't mean that General Motors Co. won't proceed with shutting the unit down.

At the Detroit Auto Show, GM chairman and acting chief executive Ed Whitacre said that the company is winding down Saab.

Meanwhile, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said that the carmaker would press ahead with closing down Saab unless a new bid emerged that was "financially better" than the wind-down.

Lutz describes the offers received so far to be "as good as winding it down." Lutz revealed that GM has been procrastinating when it comes to Saab.

He said that he is glad to see GM stick with a decision to wind something down. GM hired AlixPartners, the restructuring firm that assisted in its U.S.-government backed bankruptcy last year, to handle the wind-down of Saab.

To complete orders, production in Trollhattan was restarted. However, work on the new Saab 9-5 build is possible because Saab has a small scale production facility for the car at its base.

If the company does get the go-signal, production of the 9-3 Cabriolet, assembly of which has been shifted from Magna-Steyr's Graz, Austria plant, will also restart.

There are said to be five bidders for Saab. This includes Dutch supercar maker Spyker and an initiative headed by Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone. [via autonews]

Topics: saab, gm, ceo

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