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SAAB

Losses at Saab Automobile revealed

Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile made an operating loss of 2.9 billion kronor last year. The company's parent, General Motors, was forced to pump 3.8 billion kronor into the company, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

The results, included in the company’s annual report lodged at the Swedish Companies Registration Office, do not include the North American market, most markets in Europe or the company’s financing arm. But even when these are included, the company is not making a profit, according to CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson.

“We didn’t make a profit in 2006 and won’t make one in 2007 either, if you look at the business as a whole,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

Jonsson said he believed the company would be in profit by 2010. Saab’s Achilles’ heel was that it has too few models, he added.

“We have production machinery intended for higher volumes than those of today,” he said, but added that the company’s American parent had confidence in its future.

“GM has a very positive view of Saab. We are their only global marque and the premium segment is growing in importance,” Jonsson told the paper.

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.