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SAAB

New Saab for Trollhättan says MD

Saab Automobile plans to start production of a new compact car at its factory in Trollhättan.

The company’s managing director Jan-Åke Jonsson told TT that negotiations with the unions have already begun.

The car will form part of the 9-3 range.

“This is incredibly positive and presents a great opportunity for Trollhättan,” said Jan-Åke Jonsson.

But he did not reveal much more about the company’s plans for the production of the new car, other than saying that a dialogue is ongoing between the management at parent company GM and unions at other GM factories.

“Yes, there are other factories within GM which also have the capacity,” he said.

Jonsson sees the discussions have begun between the management at Trollhättan and the other GM units as “the next stage in our development”.

It is nevertheless still unclear where the little Saab will be built.

“We have said that Saab needs a large operation in Sweden to be credible as a Swedish brand,” said Jonsson.

The transition from today’s production to building a smaller Saab at the Trollhättan facility will require investment, but Jonsson was unwilling to predict how big that would be:

“Exactly how much is required to phase out today’s 9-3 and 9-5, and for a new compact platform product, we don’t know. But they are different products so of course investment will be needed.”

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.