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SAAB

Saab factory future looking secure

General Motors has announced that a new Cadillac model will be built at the Saab plant in Sweden. The announcement at the Geneva Motorshow was widely expected, and provides a boost for workers at the factory in Trollhättan, near Gothenburg. The news was accompanied by reports in a German newspaper that GM has decided to secure Trollhättan’s long-term future.

The news that the Cadillac would be built in Sweden was greeted warmly by Saab managing director Peter Augustsson.

“We have said that in the future every GM factory will make more than one brand of car,” he said. “We think that this is great – Saab and Cadillac are a good combination.”

The Cadillac will be built using the same technology as the Saab 9-3. This means that Trollhättan’s future is secure until the 9-3 is replaced in 2007, reported Sveriges Radio. When this happens, Saab could still lose out to the Opel factory in Rüsselheim, Germany.

Yet new reports in a German newspaper could signal an end to the uncertainty. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that GM has decided to save both Trollhättan and Rüsselheim, and plans to create a much wider range of Saab models in the future. The paper also reported that the next generation Saab 9-3 would be built outside Sweden, but that other models will be built at the factory.

According to the reports, the decision will mean a doubling of production at Trollhättan, and millions of dollars of investment in the plant.

It the reports are confirmed, it means that Trollhättan’s future is secure until 2015. The factories in Trollhättan and Rüsselheim have been working to improve efficiency since the autumn. The German newspaper’s source says that the improvements mean that both factories will be saved.

General Motors said that the company would make an official announcement some time in March.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Sveriges Radio, Dagens Industri

CARS

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
 
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
 
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
 
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
 
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.
 

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
 
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
 
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
  
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
 
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
 
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
 
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.