Two months. That's how long the world will have to wait for Saab to identify its new owner, according to Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson. Although he didn't specifically mention candidates, Jonsson told Automotive News Europe that, "There are about five we want to talk to. There are a couple more we are also looking into." Possible suitors include China's Geely Automotive and Dongfeng Motor Company, although there has been no official word from either. Private equity firms and representatives of retired Swedish workers have also expressed interest. Sweden's government, with an obvious stake in the company's future, has reportedly considered loan guarantees to the right successor.
General Motors said it will end ownership of the brand on January 1, 2010. GM bought 50% of the company in 1990 for about $700 million, and paid another $125 million for the balance in 2000. With sales down 35% in 2008 (and a loss of $340 million during the period), Saab's market price is expected to be a basement bargain.
[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd | Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty]