Business

Dealers seek lawmakers' help to save Saab

Saab dealers, including EuroTech Saab owner Ron Fortune, are promoting an effort to get their congressional representatives to counter General Motors' plan to shutter the Swedish brand.

This week, Fortune e-mailed his customers urging them to go to a Web site —www.saabsunited.com — that provides contact information for their representatives as well as a form letter to mail to them.

On Wednesday, Fortune said more than a dozen customers of his downtown dealership have responded by mailing and e-mailing the letters to their representatives, urging them to stall the sale since GM is 60 percent owned by the U.S. government. Fortune said he assumes there are dozens of others who have done that without telling him.

"It's been really good for me to know that I have that kind of support," he said. "I don't know how much good it will do, but the (Saab) dealer council apparently thinks it will have some sort of impact."

A GM official confirmed Wednesday that nothing has changed regarding the auto giant's plans to eliminate the brand.

GM is still evaluating proposals from parties interested in buying Saab but is carrying out its plans to wind down the brand.

"That is still the situation," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson wrote Wednesday in an e-mail to The Eagle.

GM had said Dec. 18 that issues arose during sale talks with Dutch automaker Spyker Cars that could not be resolved. Various reports since have said that Spyker has renewed its bid for Saab.

The discussions with Spyker came after a purchase effort by a consortium led by Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Automotive failed in November.

GM is eliminating Saab along with Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn as part of its restructuring plan that will leave it with four brands —Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC.

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