General Motors appeared to still harbour hope of being able to sell its Saab Automobile unit after a deal came apart yesterday, a Swedish government official has said.

“I talked to GM last night and my impression is that they have not given up hope,” Joran Hagglund, state secretary at Sweden’s Industry Ministry, told Reuters.

The country had earlier effectively ruled out a state bailout of loss-making Saab after tiny luxury sportcar maker car firm Koenigsegg pulled out of a bid.

Finding a new buyer would be a race against time, Swedish Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson acknowledged.

“For every day that passes the challenge gets bigger and bigger,” she told the news agency.