Last-ditch negotiations to save Saab Automobile continued over the weekend after General Motors on Friday said talks with Spyker had ended and that the brand would be wound down. Spyker said on Sunday it had submitted a renewed offer with a deadline of 5pm EST (10pm GMT) today (21 December) "in the hopes of securing a future for Saab, its employees and the brand - despite the announcement that the winding down of Saab would begin".

CEO Victor Muller said in a statement that an 11-point proposal had been submitted to GM, addressing each of the issues that arose during the due diligence process and that the renewed offer would remove each of the obstacles that were standing in the way of a swift transaction.

"We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer," said Muller.

"We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of 31 December," said Muller.

"Despite our collective eleventh hour set-back, we are returning to the table with a renewed offer, that addresses every known issue brought to light during the initial negotiations and that has the full backing of the Saab management.

"The new offer eliminates the need for an EIB loan approval prior to year end, for example, which will allow the deal to be concluded within GM's deadline.

"Our efforts are based on our passion for saving an iconic brand that we would be honoured to shepherd, and the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers around the world.

"Some 1,500,000 Saabs are on the road today and their proud owners would no doubt welcome the survival of this phenomenal brand," he added.

A New York Times/Bloomberg News report quoted a GM spokesman as saying other potential buyers had expressed an interest since Friday's announcement.

"We continue to wind down Saab, but during that process we've received several expressions of interest," Chris Preuss said. "We evaluate these offers as they come, but beyond that we're not making any comment."

Publicly, GM executives have declined to identify their problems with Spyker, but several officials familiar with the private negotiations reportedly said GM was troubled by Spyker's reliance on Russian loans to finance the deal, as well as the fate of Saab's proprietary technology under Spyker. The biggest investor in Spyker is the Russian bank Convers Group.

Another snag had been the question of whether Spyker could win a loan from the European Investment Bank.

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