DETROIT -- General Motors' tab for keeping a pledge to pay Saab's part suppliers through until Feb. 20 will be $127 million, people familiar with GM's purchasing strategy said.
GM made the commitment after Sweden's government rejected GM's bid for financial aid Saab.
On Friday, Saab's request for creditor protection was approved by a Swedish court.
"GM is fully committed to maintaining a viable and successful local and global supplier base during the Saab reorganization," Bo Andersson, GM group vice president for global purchasing and supply chain, said in a statement, without giving a dollar amount.
Andersson and his purchasing team began contacting Saab suppliers Friday to outline GM's efforts to pay them.
Andersson added that GM hopes the gesture will encourage suppliers to support efforts to help Saab reorganize into an independent business. During the reorganization, Saab is expected to continue to operate as usual.
About 400 global suppliers are to be paid the $127 million owed for parts shipped over the past 47 days, the sources said.
GM spends as much as $800 million a year on Saab parts, one of the sources said.
GM's Opel unit in Europe owns the tooling for the Saab 9-5 and will pay suppliers that built the tooling.
In documents submitted to the Swedish court today, Saab estimates that last year it lost about 3 billion kronor, or $346.6 million at current exchange rates. "The current outlook for 2009 suggests a similar level," Saab said in the documents.
GM bought half of Saab in 1990 and took full control in 2000. During GM's ownership, the brand has made a profit in only one year.
Last year, Saab's global sales fell 25.5 percent to 93,338 vehicles.