Volvo and Saab get vote of confidence from owners

Loss-making American car giants Ford and General Motors showed their faith in their Swedish subsidiaries Volvo and Saab at the start of the Detroit motor show.

Ford’s chairman Bill Ford named Volvo several times in his speech at the start of the fair in Michigan, in which he talked about the group’s new security focus and the aim to boost use of ethanol as a fuel, part of the company’s attempt to build a green profile.

Ford also confirmed that Volvo was heading for a major expansion, and would be presented five all-new car models within 18 months. Apart from the Volvo projects, Ford’s agenda at Detroit is concentrated on power, with the new Ford Edge taking centre stage with its 150 horsepower V6 engine.

GM’s Detroit programme also had a strong focus on bigger and faster engines, but most of the company’s optimism was grounded on its non-American subsidiaries, including Swedish subsidiary Saab. Jan-Åke Johansson, Saab’s CEO, said he believed the company would make a profit this year.

“The conditions have never been as good as they are this year.”

“Above all there has been a lot of action for Saab on the UK company car market,” said Johansson.

The picture for Saab in North America was more mixed. Production of the Saab 9-2X will be scrapped in a couple of years, but the company plans to further develop the 9-7X model.

TT/The Local