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GM Not Hopeful on Saab Deal

Published torsdag 7 januari 2010 kl 08.50
Saab employs 3,400 at Trollhättan in Sweden

General Motors chief executive Ed Whitacre has said that a last minute deal to save Saab is "highly unlikely" and the American car giant is proceeding with the process of winding down the Swedish brand.

GM had extended a deadline to consider offers for Saab last month after Dutch sports car maker Spyker came forward with a late proposal.

But Whitacre told reporters in Detroit on Wednesday that none of the potential bidders for Saab have come forward with the financing needed to restructure Saab. He said he was "not confident" a deal could be made "given what's happening here and the speed with which it is moving."

"It's real easy, just show up with the money and you can have it," Whitacre said. "But nobody's shown up with the money so we're in wind-down mode here."

Saab's main factory in Sweden employs 3,400 with many more jobs in the south west of the country dependant on the company which began in Sweden 60 years ago.

GM's acting chief executive also hit back at criticism from Sweden that they had not done enough to save Saab.

"I think we've done everything humanly possible," Whitacre said, adding GM will start closing down Saab plants later this week.

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