Koenigsegg pulls out of Saab deal

TINY Swedish luxury carmaker Koenigsegg yesterday pulled out of talks with General Motors (GM) over its purchase of the US car giant&rsquo;s loss-making Saab unit, putting its future in doubt.<br /><br />Koenigsegg said it had &ldquo;come to the painful and difficult conclusion&rdquo; that it could not push on with the acquisition, while GM said it was &ldquo;very disappointed&rdquo;.<br /><br />The two bodies have been in talks since June, as GM seeks to slim down the company after a government bailout and bankruptcy.<br /><br />&ldquo;Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week,&rdquo; GM&rsquo;s president and chief executive Fritz Henderson said.<br /><br />The announcement follows the car giant&rsquo;s decision to call off the sale of its European arm Opel, which trades as Vauxhall in the UK, to Canadian car parts maker Magna. GM pulled out of the sale at the eleventh hour, as car sales picked up faster than it had anticipated. <br /><br />Meanwhile, GM yesterday paid back a loan from Germany, and slightly lowered its target for European job cuts at Opel. Nick Reilly, the boss brought in from GM&rsquo;s Asian operations to help revamp Opel, said he now plans to shed around 9,000 to 9,500 jobs.