(GM/Saab article updated to reflect comments by Beijing Auto president.)



) -- GM will begin the orderly wind-down of its Saab unit.

After multiple attempts at saving the car brand from its demise since January, GM will be winding down the brand after talks to sell it to Dutch sports and racing car maker Spyker Cars collapsed.

GM said that the talks were dropped because certain due-diligence issues over the sale of Saab couldn't be resolved by the December 31 deadline for selling the unit.

"Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time," said GM Europe President Nick Reilly. "In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution."

The unit has about 3,000 workers under its wing.

Reilly emphasized that Saab will continue to meet debts that include payments to suppliers and fulfill its warranty obligations to customers.

Earlier, GM had tried to sell Saab to Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg, but the talks broke down last month.

GM had been trying to sell money-bleeding Saab in order to help it focus on its four core brands -- Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC -- as well as several regional brands, including Opel/Vauxhall in Europe.

Last week, GM announced that it was able to sell certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry. State-owned Beijing Auto said Friday it hopes to cooperate further with Saab on hybrid vehicles projects. Also, its president Wang Dazhong says Saab has expressed interest in having the company import and sell Saab brand vehicles in China.

This year, China became the world's largest auto market.

Auto companies are trading largely in positive territory on Friday morning.


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-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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