19 Dec 2009

End of the road for the Saab marque

12:33 pm on 19 December 2009

The American carmaker General Motors has decided to shut down another one of its units. This time it's Saab, the car company that started in Sweden.

The company says it has been unable to sell Saab, which it has been trying to do as part of its turnaround plans since January, and so will begin an "orderly wind-down" of its operations.

GM had been in talks with the Dutch carmaker Spyker over a sale but says it has regrettably been unable to complete the transaction.

Talks with Sweden's Koenigsegg also fell through earlier this year.

The BBC reports that it's the end of the road for Saab, the car that emerged from a company originally making fighter jets.

When GM bought Saab, it was seen as a brand that could become the US automotive group's European luxury brand. But the cars did not attract a broad enough following.

A statement from the firm says Saab will continue to honour all warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current Saab owners around the world.

Saab employs 3,400 people in Sweden; GM estimates that 8,000 people will suffer indirectly.

Sweden's government says it is sad news but it won't step in to save Saab.