This is the question that has been on my mind during the last year. Why couldn’t they agree with Koenigsegg or Spyker? I realize that there are a lot of particulars that have to be addressed. But what could be stopping them from selling the brand to one of these eager bidders? Apparently, 51 SAAB dealers have the same questions in mind. They’ve organized into a group which is holding GM to their promise to sell the brand. Now that that doesn’t seem to be happening, they are pushing for GM to sell to the highest bidder or face a legal challenge from them.
The dealers may have little legal recourse against GM. After all, the company has been trying to sell Saab for more than a year. Yet, the dealers seem to raise a reasonable issue: Why can’t GM accept the highest offer on the table? Isn’t taking some money for Saab, better than spending money to wind it down? It’s probably not that simple. If GM sells Saab to a bidder that it knows lacks the experience or financing to keep the company going over the long term, then GM could be liable to suppliers and car buyers with warranties for doing the deal, according to one person familiar with GM’s thinking. “They could come back to GM and say you [are] responsible because you knew the buyer had no chance of making it work,’’ this person said.
That explanation makes a bit of sense from an otherwise senseless situation. To them, it’s more than the money. There has to be a viable company who can purchase and then handle the aftereffects of the sale. But even still, if you were GM, wouldn’t you want to have an extra $400 million in your pocket if the next company fails?