DETROIT -- General Motors Co. has given Saab a reprieve until Dec. 31 while it considers new bids for its money-losing Swedish brand.
GM did not disclose who the bidders were but a source said Dutch super sports carmaker Spyker Cars NV and its Russian owner, Converse Bank, have submitted a bid to buy Saab.
GM said it will evaluate potential bids between now and the end of December but if it is unable to find a "suitable arrangement" for Saab by then, it would "will begin an orderly wind down" of the global Saab business.
The source said Spyker submitted a written bid on Monday seeking to buy all of Saab from GM. The source declined to reveal the amount of the bid.
Spyker apparently wants Saab because of Saab's strong image. Also, GM's plans for the brand, such as a new 9-4X crossover, "look extremely viable" to Spyker's management, the source said.
Over time, Spyker would benefit through shared technology and parts.
Possible asset sales
GM's board met on Tuesday to review Saab's future after a deal to sell the brand to Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Group fell apart last week.
According to a report on Tuesday by Bloomberg News, GM also is considering the sale of parts of Saab to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. and shuttering the brand. In that case, Spyker likely would pull its bid, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to the source, Spyker's concern would be that suppliers would walk, the dealer body would fall apart and consumers would lose confidence in any brand that was dismantled.
"You want Saab as a going concern - that's the only thing you want," the source said. "You want the company alive and kicking. You don't want to pick up the pieces. Once you stop the business, it decomposes very quickly."
Saab sold 93,295 vehicles globally in 2008, representing 1.1 percent of total GM sales volume, down 25 percent from 2007.
GM bought 50 percent of the company in 1989 when Saab was established as an independent company. It bought the rest in January 2000.
Saab has not made a profit since 2001. Saab has said it lost about $340 million in 2008. GM has not released more recent financial information for the brand.