Saab: the saga continues...
New, bigger bids are believed to have been made for Saab by Dutch supercar maker Spyker and Genii, the consortium that includes F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. The increased bids follow owners General Motors' indications that the previous offers were not sufficient to secure the sale of the ailing Swedish car maker.
There are few details of the revised Ecclestone-Genii offer, but Spyker boss Victor Muller has confirmed that his company has revised its offer. 'We have shown Ed Whitacre the money,' he said, referring to the GM boss's previous invitation for bidders to do just that. Muller hopes that a decision will be made this week, but is unsure whether that will transpire.
In the meantime GM's winding down of the business has seen the entire Saab management board relieved of its duties, to be replaced by managers from AlixPartners, the company charged with closing the car-maker down. However, former Saab CEO Jan-Ake Jonsson will continue in an advisory role.
GM has also confirmed that contrary to some previous reports, the company will not rebrand the new 9-5 as a Buick for China, choosing instead to kill the new car even though the launch stock is currently in production in Trollhattan.
Muller believes that despite the advance of the wind-down process, GM is still serious about selling. 'We are negotiating in good faith to buy Saab. I can understand how the outside world perceives certain actions being directed towards a wind-down. But Mr Whitacre was very clear that since Dec 18th they are in wind-down, but they're considering offers. If the sale of Saab doesn't generate more than the wind-down scenario costs, for them it is clearly not attractive. So it's our job as Spyker to put forward a proposal to get them to reverse the decision. They are considering offers, very, very seriously.'