Business

Saab may have a buyer after all

Spyker Cars, a niche automaker based in the Netherlands, is giving General Motors more time to consider selling it the Saab brand, keeping the fate of the Swedish automaker up in the air.

Spyker had previously given GM until 5 p.m. EST Monday to consider its latest offer, but Spyker said it has extended that deadline until further notice. Spyker submitted its latest offer on Sunday, just days after talks with GM to buy Saab collapsed over unspecified issues.

The flip-flopping of the Spyker deal meant a frustrating Monday for Ron Fortune, owner of Euro-Tech Saab at 1122 E. Central.

"We're in limbo while these guys are playing their poker game," Fortune said Monday.

Spyker is the latest suitor looking to buy Saab. Earlier this year, GM had been in negotiations with a consortium of buyers led by Koenigsegg Automotive, but the Swedish sports car maker dropped out of the deal in November.

Spyker manufactures a small number of exotic sports cars that are priced at $200,000 or more. Last year, the company produced just 43 vehicles and lost $35.5 million.

GM said Sunday that it had received inquiries from "several parties" after its announcement that it would close Saab. The company said it will evaluate each. A GM spokesman declined to comment further on Monday.

Saab employs about 3,400 people worldwide, most of whom work at its main plant in Trollhattan, Sweden. The brand has about 1,100 dealers.

GM bought a 50 percent stake and management control of Saab for $600 million in 1989 and gained full ownership in 2000 for $125 million more.

On Monday, Swedish government officials were holding emergency meetings with unions and local authorities to prepare for the closure of the Trollhattan plant.

If this latest deal doesn't work out, Fortune plans to return to selling used cars.

His dealership, formerly known as Euro-Tech Motor Werks, was started in 1973 as a dealer of used import cars.

This time around, he said he would consider selling used domestic cars and trucks, too.

Fortune's dealership also recently signed on as a dealer for SYM-USA, a manufacturer of scooters and all-terrain vehicles.

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