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Another week, another sale from GM

General Motors is a lot more efficient these days at lopping off its money-losing divisions, and even earning some cash for selling them.  Thanks to a bankruptcy and government guidance it has been able to cut through red tape and sell Hummer to a Chinese bidder and Saturn to the Penske Automotive Group, owned by American racing legend Roger Penske.

Now GM has announced that it has reached a deal to sell Swedish brand Saab Automobile AB, completing nearly all of GM's brand cuts and bringing GM's remaining laggard brands down to Pontiac (Opel was sold to a Magna International-led consortium, Vauxhall is being transferred to Magna as well).  GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson said in a statement Tuesday that it was a relief to sell Saab.  He said that GM continually poured money into Saab, but was unable to show a profit for it.  He says GM ran out of money during the middle of an effort to revitalize Saab with a new lineup.

Sweden's Koenigsegg Automotive AB, a low-volume sports car manufacturer, is purchasing Saab, with hopes to turn the laggard brand around.  GM will provide Koenigsegg with powertrain engineering services and other technologies.  It also says it expects to develop the 9-4x compact crossover for Saab.

GM's personnel cuts also continue.  The company is cutting 20 percent of its salaried workforce and 35 percent of its executive staff by the end of the year, as it continues to cut blue collar plant jobs as well.  The company looks to have about 23,500 U.S. salaried employees and a little more than 800 U.S. executives at the year's end.





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