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GM may sell some Saab assets to Chinese carmaker


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GM may sell some Saab assets to Chinese carmaker

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. may sell some assets of its Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile to China's Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., a source familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

GM's board is expected to address Saab's prospects at a meeting today following the collapse last week of a deal to sell it to Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg Group.

A sale of Saab's production machinery for the outgoing 9-5 model to Beijing Auto is one option under consideration, the source said. Saab is now retooling its Trollhaettan factory to begin production of a new 9-5 sedan.

Beijing Auto was one of the parties in the Koenigsegg deal; the Chinese carmaker was preparing to take a stake in Koenigsegg. It previously expressed interest in Adam Opel GmbH, another GM-owned European carmaker. GM decided last month not to sell Opel.

Other investor groups, including Merbanco Inc. of Wyoming, have expressed interest in Saab, an iconic brand that started out as an aircraft manufacturer.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Spyker Cars NV, a Dutch specialty sports car manufacturer, has expressed interest in Saab and is trying to drum up investment. Spyker, based in Zeewolde, the Netherlands, has not been profitable since 2004, when it went public.

GM has not ruled out winding down Saab.

The uncertainty surrounding its prospects has hurt the carmaker in the marketplace. Saab's European sales are down 59 percent and its U.S. sales are off 62 percent so far this year.

Sweden has ruled out using taxpayer money to save Saab.



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