GM says death of Saab is a foregone conclusion

General Motors joint chief executive Ed Whitacre said yesterday he is not hopeful a deal can be reached to sell Saab and said the American carmaker will start to wind-down the Swedish brand.

GM is dropping its Pontiac, Saturn and Saab brands and selling Hummer as it restructures to return to profitability after emerging from its US government-funded bankruptcy in July.

He said none of the potential bidders for Saab have come forward with the financing needed to restructure the money-losing automaker.

“I think we’ve done everything humanly possible,” Whitacre said, adding GM will start closing down Saab plants later this week.

The small Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker Cars is among possible bidders for Saab, but analysts have said the question of how to fund an acquisition of the brand is a major hurdle to a deal.