Saab has apparently been rescued – in the nick of time. General Motors had already started to wind down the activities of its Swedish subsidiary, a process that will now be halted. Saab is to be bought by the Dutch sports-car manufacturer Spyker for US$74 million.

The agreement follows several unsuccessful attempts to sell Saab, including a previous planned transaction with Spyker. Spyker will have to work quickly to improve the position at Saab, which sold fewer than 40,000 cars in 2009, a steep fall from the 95,000 sold in 2008. Production was even lower last year, at 21,000 units, less even than MG Rover was making immediately before it went down in 2005. On the other hand Saab has a completely new model to sell for the first time in seven years, in the form of the new 9-5 model which was unveiled at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

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