STOCKHOLM — Reporting plunging profits, Sweden's troubled auto maker and aircraft manufacturer Saab-Scania AB confirmed Monday that it is in negotiations with Ford Motor Co.
Georg Karnsund, Saab's chief executive, refused to disclose details of the talks, saying the two companies had signed an agreement of confidentiality.
He said Saab also is talking with other car makers, but he refused to say which ones. Karnsund said Saab has signed a secrecy agreement only with Ford.
Rumors have circulated for months that Sweden's aviation pioneer was bidding to sell its ailing car division, where falling sales caused a drop in income per share of nearly 15%.
Jan-Erik Larsson, head of the car division, has said Saab "will remain a Swedish auto-making company," indicating that a full buyout is not being considered.
The profit at Saab's car division plunged 30% in the first six months of the year to $139 million, partly because of a 15% drop in U.S. sales, the company said.