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SAAB

GM “will close Södertälje plant”

General Motors Corp wants to restructure its engine productions in Europe and will close its plant at Södertälje in Sweden as part of it, weekly AutomobilWoche said, citing sources.

It said about two-thirds of the estimated 60,000 SAAB engine units will be transferred this year to the production facility in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

AutomobilWoche also said GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told the weekly in an interview that GM is studying the possibility of developing four new Opel models. A final decision has not yet been made, he said.

He said one of the models will be an SUV that will be smaller than the Opel Antara, which would be launched in the market by end of this year, and would have an annual production of about 200,000 units.

“We are examining the market chances for a global, small SUV that will be positioned below the Opel Antara,” Lutz said, adding GM wants to enter the market for smaller SUVs during this decade.

He said the production facility for any such new SUV positioned below the Antara segment is not expected to be in Europe but is likely to be in Thailand, Mexico or India.

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.