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GM threatens to shut Saab out

2011-11-08 09:55

REBADGED CADILLAC: GM has said it will halt production of the 9-4X SUV it builds for Saab, and even block the Swedish brand's impending sale to Chinese buyers.

NEW YORK - General Motors will stop supplying the 9-4X SUV to Saab if the insolvent Swedish automaker is taken over by two Chinese firms.

GM added that it would also cancel technology-sharing licences to Saab if the company was acquired by Chinese companies Pang Da and Youngman, though it would be willing to supply some components.

"It would not be in the best interests of GM shareholders," the US automaker said.

The 9-4X is based on GM's Cadillac SRX and the two models share looks, assembly line and key components.


On October 28, the two Chinese firms proposed to buy Saab for 100 million euros (close to R1.1-billion) and have pledged to inject 610 million euros (R1.7-billion) to revitalise the automaker but at the weekend GM warned it could block the sale, saying it "could negatively affect GM's existing relationships in China or otherwise adversely affect GM's interests worldwide".

The sale requires the approval of GM, which sold Saab in 2010 to Dutch firm Swedish Automobile - then known as Spyker - for $400-million. Saab has since then racked up more losses and was headed toward bankruptcy until the two Chinese companies stepped in.

GM spokesman Jim Cain said GM was "very much open" to additional discussions.

"Given the time that has passed since the transaction was announced, we felt it necessary to communicate our position," he said.

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