Late offer could save Saab brand

General Motors says it is “evaluating” inquiries from several parties into its Swedish car business Saab, despite previously suggesting the marque was to close.

Dutch firm Spyker has renewed an offer for the firm and GM now has until 10pm tonight to respond to the bid.

On Friday (18 December) General Motors said it would fold the Saab brand after it failed to sell the Swedish marque and confirmed it would begin “an orderly wind-down of Saab operations”.

However, Spyker’s chief executive Victor Muller has now said he is “very confident” his new offer would lead to a deal.

“We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer,” he says.

He adds: “We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM.”

Spyker has submitted a new 11-point proposal to GM, addressing the issues that ended talks. The primary backers of the Spyker bid include the Russian banking tycoon Vladimir Antonov and his Convers Group. Sweden’s unions have urged GM to consider the new offer.

Saab employs 3,400 people in Sweden and GM has estimated that 8,000 people would suffer indirectly from its planned closure. It is unclear how marketing roles and agencies could be affected if the brand does fold.

Two weeks ago, Saab sold components of its business to China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings (BAIC). That deal will not be affected by the latest announcement.

GM says its focus will remain on its four core brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – as well as its European business Opel/Vauxhall.

Vauxhall is to return to TV screens for the first time since parent company General Motors retracted its intention to sell the marque. The ad will break on Boxing Day.

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