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SAAB

GM bearer of glad tidings for Saab plant

Saab's factory in Trollhättan is one of four locations selected by General Motors for the production of the next generation of compact cars.

The decision means that production is certain to continue beyond 2010, according to Metalworkers’ Union spokesman Paul Åkerlund.

The new compact cars will also be manufactured in Bochum in Germany, Gliwice in Poland and Ellesmere Port in Britain.

General Motors’ Antwerp plant will not be involved in the production of the new Astra models. Staff at the Belgian facility are hopeful that another form of production can be found to avoid the plant’s closure.

“We are very pleased with the decision. There could be around 750,000 cars using the new Delta platform and we hope to produce around 100,000 cars in Trollhättan after 2010,” said Paul Åkerlund.

The union chairman is critical of how the leadership of GM has dealt with the issue of localization.

The GM union has been strongly opposed to the closure of any of the five plants that were under consideration for the production of compact cars.

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.