General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson said on Monday that GM will move closer toward selling its Saab brand within the next two months. Henderson's comment came as Saab said the number of potential bidders for the Swedish carmaker had been narrowed down to a few candidates with a final sale to be agreed hopefully sometime in early summer.
Henderson told a news conference in Detroit: “We are talking to a number of interested bidders. That will take more shape and form over the next month or two rather than the next week or two.”
Henderson said the sale is being run by the Swedish unit.
Saab spokesman Eric Geers said the company hoped to sign a deal "sometime around early summer. Geers said there are only a few bidders left but would not comment on which bidders remained in the process.
Earlier on Monday, Swedish news agency TT reported that two to three interested parties were still in the running for a bid, citing Saab's court-appointed administrator Guy Lofalk.
Fiat, which has agreed to acquire a stake in Chrysler LLC, has said it wants to merge its car unit with GM's European operations, which include Opel and Saab, to create the world's second-largest automaker after Toyota Motor Corp.
Fiat did not bid in the first round of the Saab auction but said last week it has spoken with the Swedish government about buying Saab. GM said it welcomed Fiat's interest.
Saab sought protection from creditors in February to survive the current economic downturn and buy time to find a new owner. The company said last month it had signed confidentiality agreements with 27 potential bidders.
On May 8, Automotive News Europe reported that GM would narrow the bidders to two to three preferred bidders for Saab by the end of last week.
Saab has attracted interested from Chinese automakers such as Geely, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg, European investor groups and private equity firms, according to ANE sources.