graphic
News > Companies
GM buys rest of Saab
January 10, 2000: 11:07 a.m. ET

U.S. carmaker also says it won’t raise bid for Daewoo, hopes to top '99 sales
By Staff Writer Chris Isidore
graphic
graphic graphic
graphic
DETROIT (CNNfn) - General Motors Corp. purchased the remaining half of Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile AB it did not already own Monday.
    Terms of the deal were not disclosed. GM has shared ownership of Saab with Swedish holding company Investor AB since 1990, and expects to take full ownership by the end of January.
    "We had the option and it seemed like the right time to exercise it," G.M. President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Wagoner said. He said he doesn’t anticipate any noticeable changes in production or even additional savings from the increased ownership position.
    "We've gotten a lot of those savings already," he told CNNfn in an interview at the North American International Auto Show here. "I think we've got some good leverage in the purchasing system, in lean manufacturing, some shared components, and I think that's worked  pretty good."
    Wagoner had limited comments about GM's current interest in Korean automaker Daewoo Motor Co. Both GM and Ford Motor Co. (F) are negotiating with Korean authorities and creditors over the future of the troubled Korean automaker. Despite huge debts and losses, the carmaker is being sought because it is believed to have a good small car product for the growing Asian market. Wagoner repeated the widely held view that Asia has the best growth potential of any market.
    "We think we can come up with something that makes sense for them and us," he said. He insisted that Ford's recent push for Daewoo will not change GM's bid for the company.
    "We know a lot about Daewoo. We think we understand what the value of Daewoo is to us," he said. "Our view on that will not be changed by or influenced by other people being interested in it. If somebody else comes and pays a whopper amount for it, more power to them."
    On the outlook for 2000, Wagoner said he believes it is possible that GM could top its strong 1999 sales of 5.02 million cars and truck, although he wouldn’t project total sales or market share for the year.
    "We think we ought to be able to grow our sales. We feel good about our product, but there's no reason to put a target out there when nobody else does, and we get beat up on it," he said.
     While GM posted strong sales, many analysts saw the company’s U.S. market share falling below 30 percent as a defeat of sorts. Wagoner said part of the problem was that the overall market grew much stronger than anyone anticipated, reaching almost 17 million vehicles.
    "A strong market is a good deal, not a bad deal," he said. Back to top

  RELATED STORIES

Ford hires German auto exec to scope Daewoo - - Jan. 04 , 2000

Daewoo talks deadlocked - Dec. 14 , 1999

GM buys stake in Fuji Heavy Industries - Dec. 10 , 1999

GM, Ford see strong December sales - Jan. 05 , 2000

  RELATED SITES

General Motors Corp.

Saab Global


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNNmoney




graphic