2010 Saab 9-5

2010 Saab 9-5

It looks as if Saab is done. The board of the company voted today in Sweden to shut the company down and liquidate its assets. GM is still evaluating bids, according to the report, but with the liquidation decision and GM's hiring of AlixPartners to handle the wind-down, barring some truly eleventh-hour heroics, the brand born from jets will die from lack of funding.

That's been the only hurdle so far in the brand's attempted sale, according to GM Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre. He told a gathering of media this week that all a buyer needed to do to take Saab home was to show up with the money. Judging by Saab's current state, no one has managed to do that so far. There may still be even more to come from the sale that never ends, however.

The news comes not from Saab or GM, but from the head of the Swedish trade union IF Metall, Stefan Lofven. Lofven also stated in the same press release that he believes the bids for Saab are still valid, and that one may yet save the day. He didn't name which bidder would finally acquire the brand, but he did say he was confident it would not come to liquidation.

Serving as counterpoint, GM, though it acknowledges it is still considering bids, has hired restructuring firm AlixPartners to oversee the wind-down of the brand. GM says the wind-down will take several months, and that Saab warranties and service will be carried out by other GM dealers, as with the closure of Saturn and Pontiac.

With the board's decision to liquidate now on the table, expect quick action on the bids in progress, whether they are rejected once again or a new buyer emerges. Whatever happens, we'll keep you abreast of the latest as it breaks.

[GM, IF Metall (Swedish), Wall Street Journal]