GM Said to Study Shedding Saab, Saturn, Pontiac to Win U.S. Aid
By Jeff Green and Greg Bensinger
Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., working to cut costs to win $12 billion in government loans, is studying whether to shed its Saturn, Saab and Pontiac brands in addition to Hummer, people familiar with the matter said.
Selling or dropping brands would save money and reduce overlap as the biggest U.S. automaker struggles to avoid running out of operating cash by yearís end, said the people, who didnít want to be identified because no decision has been made. GMís other U.S. brands are Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac.
The review of the 82-year-old Pontiac division, one of GMís earliest, shows the scope of the survival plan being given to Congress on Dec. 2 to show GM can repay federal aid. GM also seeks to cut debt levels and reduce costs for active and retired union workers, people have said.
Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner is under a deadline set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Congress has scheduled a Dec. 5 hearing on a $25 billion auto-industry rescue and may vote the week of Dec. 8.
A GM spokesman, Steve Harris, declined to comment on what may be included in the Detroit-based automakerís plan.
Directors are scheduled to review a proposal Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, people familiar with the plans said. The automaker will prepare a 10- to 12-page public document and a private, more detailed plan of about 80 pages with background material, the people said. GM said Nov. 7 it may be short by yearís end of the $11 billion minimum in cash needed to pay monthly bills.
Saab I can see shedding, but Saturn and Pontiac too? Yikes.