The bankrupt US carmaker, General Motors has signed a preliminary agreement with the Swedish sports car manufacturer Koenigsegg to purchase Saab. All three companies involved have confirmed the tentative sale, which is expected to be sealed by the end of the third fiscal quarter.
General Motors said in a statement: “General Motors Corp and Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, today confirmed the details of a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of Saab Automobile AB that secures Saab’s future.”
Koenigsegg was established in 1994 by Swedish businessman Christian von Koenigsegg, according to The Local. The exclusive sports car maker produces just 18 high-end sports cars a year that cost more than EUR 1 million each.
In a statement, GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster said: “Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as General Motors.”
Sweden’s government had refused to bail out the beleaguered carmaker, fearing the cash would just end up in GM’s empty pockets. The sale of Saab is being backed by USD 600 million from the European Investment Bank, and guaranteed by the Swedish government.
Koenigsegg and a clutch of other investors will pony up the rest of the money needed to keep Saab operational. Ideally, his company will put the quality name back into Saab after nearly a decade of losses. General Motors bought Saab 20 years ago but hasn’t made a profit since 2001. Last year Saab posted a net loss of USD 241 million.