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'Totally overwhelming': voices from Trollhättan

Published: 26 Jan 2010 20:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Jan 2010 20:58 GMT+01:00

Saab sale sparks delight in Trollhättan in western Sweden, home to some 3,400 Saab employees.

"We'll wait until the weekend to celebrate but for now we can revel in this."

Gert-Inge Andersson, Social Democrat and municipal commissioner, Trollhättan.

"This means we can now send home the liquidators."

Annette Hellgren, head of labour group Unionen's local Saab chapter.

"It feels really great right now, wonderful that it worked out. It has been a long and winding road to say the least."

"It's not going to be a bed of roses and we shouldn't be under any illusions. But now Saab has a stable owner and I reckon we're going to be a danger to our competitors."

Paul Åkerlund, head of trade union IF Metall's local Saab chapter.

"Mentally there has been a sense of resignation that this wasn't going to work out. It's totally overwhelming, a bit hard to grasp that it's true."

"We've been planning for both a wind-down and a restart. We've had both a red and a green button so to speak. Now we're going to push the green button and hit the accelerator."

"Having them [Spyker] as a new owner feels very liberating. They possess a combination of an entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to nurture and develop a brand that suits Saab perfectly. With Spyker as owner, Saab will be able to release all its power and know-how."

Mats Fägerhag, Saab's head of technical development.

"It's great news for everybody who works for Saab, I'm very pleased for them. But we know too little about the details regarding their [Spyker's] future plans for Saab."

Martin Sköld, auto industry expert, Stockholm School of Economics.

"It's an incredible relief. Now begins a new era and there's a lot of work left to do. But it's work with a focus on the future and it can be carried out in a positive spirit."

Stefan Löfven, chairman of trade union IF Metall.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:41 January 26, 2010 by Tiddler
Yes, you parasitic political and union trash, it's great spending other people's money isn't it.

Perhaps you'd all like to put a 2nd lien on your houses in order to support my business.

No? Didn't think so.
21:41 January 26, 2010 by zircon
It shows that you do have to know your business.
22:27 January 26, 2010 by Great Scott
@Tiddler

I hope that you or anyone you care about never has to go through what the guys in Trollhattan have been going though.

I hope you never lose your job and never come across hard times, but if you do expect no help from others. Thankfully people like you are in the minority.

Can you please be more specific when you say "it's great spending other people's money isn't it"?

I also wrote these comments on another Saab story, I wonder if you could give me your views on this.

I expect a lot of critics in response to this, but I must say that it is great news that the workers of Saab get to keep their jobs.

However the government minister responsible for business affairs said "that they would not buy Saab or put tax payer's money at risk". This agreement was made possible after the government agreed to guarantee the EIB loan thus putting tax payer's money at risk. This is a change in direction and making the government minister responsible for business affairs incompetent, will she now resign her position.

Just one late thought, how much of the tax payers money would have been used if this deal had not gone through.

Well done GM, well done Spyker and good luck to all those guys in Trollhattan.

Keep the European automotive business alive.
22:32 January 26, 2010 by Tiddler
Great Scott, you're speaking through ypour a***.

You don't know the first thing about me yet you're trying to justify taxpayer support of 4bn SEK on some emotional crap about "hope it never happens to you".

Read Ayn Rand to see the logical conclusion to these bailouts, believe me the logical conclusion is far far worse than the loss of several thousand unprofitable jobs.
22:46 January 26, 2010 by Scotsaab
@ Tiddler

Calm down. It's really not your money - the rest of us have a stake in it too. I also have to support my business without taxpayers' help - so what? You want a business, make sacrifices.

This is great news for Saab, the workers, the motor industry and everyone who depends on Saab and its sub-contractors for a living.
23:02 January 26, 2010 by Tiddler
Scot, I'm perfectly lucid and calm thank you.

This is my final comment. If a job must be "saved" then it is not worth saving.

Let Saab go bankrupt and other car manufacturers will pick up the slack in production, or let another company pick it up out of bankruptcy on the merits of the business. Not on the merits of 4bn SEK of tax payer money.

We all have a stake but taxpayer guarantees are guaranteed to make life worser for all of us except a TEMPORARY respite for some Saab workers.

The markets are being distorted, let the markets decide where very SCARCE and VALUABLE capital should be deployed, because you can be damn sure capital will be incredibly hard to come by over the next 5 years, and this is just accelerating the process of interest rate hikes.
23:15 January 26, 2010 by DaisyCutter
@ Tiddler

Once you have taken a few deep breaths and relaxed, can you kindly remind us where your business is, so we can in no way support you.
23:15 January 26, 2010 by zircon
Now let's move on to the next stage. Long term thinking?
23:22 January 26, 2010 by Nemesis
This is brilliant news for the people of Trollhättan.

I hope this works out to be a sucess for them and there new investors who have bravely put there money where there mouth is.

@ Tiddler

So by your reckoning GM should not have had US taxpayers money and the US banks should not have had taxpayes money.
23:41 January 26, 2010 by Malmoman
Nemesis,

I think it is fairly clear that Tiddler agrees that most bailout money is wasted. There are lots of people that are much smarter than you and I, that would agree. Free market principles tend to fall on deaf ears when people are losing their jobs. Unfortunately this bailout, and a bailout it is, will cost someone, somewhere, their tax dollars.

I really wish the best for the Swedish workers. The bottom line is that we all have, as consumers, a choice. We can buy local and support local jobs. Otherwise we can send our money overseas and support foreign jobs. Which is like chewing your arm off!

This whole ordeal is not Tiddler's fault, not entirely GM's fault (as much as many of you want to believe), it is the global consumer's fault. Can you blame them? Saab churned out lousy cars since before GM owned them. Fun to drive: YES! But quirky as all hell!

Next time you want a car, TV, fridge, floor, radio etc... Buy one from a company that invests locally, in jobs and research!
23:41 January 26, 2010 by Tiddler
Nemesis, I did say no more comments from me, but your question is too pertinent to this discussion.

Yes, no bailout for GM, any bank, airline or anybody.

Sahreholders and bondholders get wiped for making bad investment decisions, creditors get back what they can, probably cents on the dollar but they also made a bad decision to give credit to credit unworthy companies.

In the case of banks depositors should have been guaranteed.

The sooner bad debt is wiped from the system and bad decisions punished the sooner we can all get back to a sustainable productive economy, based on savings, not debt.
01:51 January 27, 2010 by repat_xpat
This is good news for the people of Trollhattan. I do hope it sticks and I hope (with Nemesis) that many/most jobs will be saved (except, of course, some of the leaders at SAAB who have been failing their good workers for so many years).

@Great Scott, I usually find that refusing to honor the bloggers who are idiots is the best response. But I must say that your approach was excellent. You wished the best for the offending poster, you added good information, and you ended with praise for those involved in the root article. We'll done.

Nemesis: The majority of the American tax payers were, and continue to be against the bail outs for GM.
07:04 January 27, 2010 by Rick Methven
@tiddler

"In the case of banks depositors should have been guaranteed"

So because you have money deposited in a bank that goes bust everybosy else's tax dollar can be spent securing your money but nobody else's jobs or business

and you say that ScottSaab is speaking through his As**:LOL
17:25 January 27, 2010 by rahpor
Well... you poor Swedish taxpayers... Just hope the sale of Saab will be successfull!

Don't forget this guarantee also involves a complete manufacturing street. An average car manufactures plant is worth around 200 mio. euro worth of assets. Specially the Saab plant with all it;s other facilities. In a wind down scenario, everything would probably have been sold to China, with profits flowing back to GM (not a cent to Sweden). There would be around 5000 jobs lost with not much foresight for new ones in that region. So, that by itself would have cost the Swedish taxpayer around 60 million euro a year. Detroit shows that most of their citizens never get a job again. So, you will pay for years and years...

If Saab fails now, you'll have a plant to sell (covered by the guarantee, so it'll flow back to Swedish taxpayers). THere are intellectual right, etc. etc... that guarantee is a good thing, not a bad one. Can't figure out why the press isn't telling you the other side of the story?
11:43 January 28, 2010 by spy
STUPID PEOPLE

To all those people who still think that Swedish taxpayers are in some way buying or bailing out Saab:

The Government has actually agreed to gurantee a bank loan - they have NOT agreed to provide the loan itself. And before they agreed to guarantee it they valued Saab's assets at the lowest possible market rate. These assets were valued at worst case scenario (eg. the factory was valued just as a peice of land not a going concern). It is agreed by all (including the National Debt Office) that Saab's assets far exceeded 400 million Euros and so if they defaulted on the loan the sale of these assets would more than cover it. Therefore NO taxpayers money is either risked or spent. . . And for anyone who still doesn't understand this simple explanation then I suggest that you go and ask an adult to explain it to you.
11:54 January 28, 2010 by derek hughes-beddows
OMG, I have read some crap in my time but.......take a look what is happening around that world, HAITI. then think about what you are saying. Theres us wondering about money, then there are some who are worrying about if they have a family left or even a life. Take a break guys
12:36 January 28, 2010 by spy
derek hughes-beddows

You are the one who has chosen to read it this story and then comment on it. If you feel this way why don't you spend your time fund raising rather than posting inane comments on Swedish websites?
20:42 January 29, 2010 by derek hughes-beddows
SPY

YES THANKS, done my bit, to date, £115,000 for macmillan cancer nurses, £6500 for great ormond street hospital for sick kids . I still find time to work 55hrs work a week and still enjoy my 19th SAAB, supporting them through and through. !!!
21:05 January 31, 2010 by spy
derek hughes-beddows

Laudable but I am not sure what your point is. Are you trivialising the worry that these poor workers in Trollhattan have been feeling for months?
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