General Motors on Tuesday afternoon (12 January) named Stephen Taylor and Peter Torngren as wind-down supervisors of Saab, jointly replacing the CEO and board immediately. The move came hours after the first Swedish-made convertible left the company's Trollhattan assembly line.

"They will meet with management, unions and other stakeholders, and will start working on a plan for an orderly wind down," GM said in a statement.

The automaker reiterated the wind-down process was expected to take several months "and will ensure that employees, dealers and suppliers are adequately protected".

"Also as stated previously, Saab customers can be assured that warranties will continue to be honoured and that service and spare parts will continue to be available," the statement said.

GM also reiterated it was continuing to evaluate several purchase proposals so far received for Saab, "an evaluation not affected by today's official appointment".

GM Europe chief Nick Reilly said earlier at the Detroit show GM was still talking to potential buyers, but Saab continued to lose money.

"The longer this carries on ... the more difficult it is for someone to buy it," he was quoted as saying.

Vice chairman Bob Lutz had said on Monday GM was proceeding to shut Saab down but would consider last-minute offers. None had so far been lucrative enough to reverse the wind-down.

GM last week retained restructuring specialists AlixPartners to supervise "an orderly wind-down" at Saab.

Ironically, today's news came just hours after the first Saab convertible to be built in Sweden rolled off the line at the Trollhättan factory today. All previous convertibles have been built outside Sweden, first at Valmet Automotive in Finland and, latterly, at Magna Steyr in Austria.

During 2009, the decision was made to concentrate all Saab car production in Sweden.