GM: 37 pct of US Saab dealerships to close

AP News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2009 3:15 PM

About 37 percent of U.S. Saab dealers will close as part of General Motors Corp.'s planned sale of the ailing Swedish car brand to Koenigsegg Group AB, a GM spokeswoman said Saturday.

GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said the company had sent letters to 81 of the 218 U.S. Saab dealers notifying them they will be expected to terminate their dealerships when the sale closes around the end of November.

The remaining 137 dealers will continue operating under Saab Cars North America, a newly formed company that will run the brand under Koenigsegg's ownership. All the U.S. Saab dealers had signed deferred termination agreements during GM's reorganization under bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

Mike Colleran, chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America, said the company chose dealers based on their potential to make money. "We selected a network that gives us the best opportunity to achieve that," he said.

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Saab Cars North America sent letters to those dealers notifying them they'd been selected to continue if the sale closes, he said.

Koenigsegg Group signed a deal to buy the troubled Saab brand from GM in August. The consortium is led by the Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Automotive AB, Norwegian investor Baard Eker and Augie Fabela II, co-founder and former chairman of Russian telecom operator VimpelCom.