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November 16, 2009

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Saab sale sees closure of 37% of US dealers

ABOUT 37 percent of United States 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 over the weekend.

GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said the company had sent letters to 81 of the 218 US 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 US 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.

Saab Cars North America sent letters to those dealers notifying them they had 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 and includes Norwegian investor Baard Eker.


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