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Sweden could give Saab story a happy ending

Sixty years after its formation, Saab Automobile is an important piece of Swedish heritage. Ryan Emge, from the Saab History website, argues that Sweden would be best advised to buy the company in order to safeguard its existence.

Since 1947, Saab Automobile has been inextricably linked with its Swedish roots as an innovative and progressive automobile company. The heritage of Saab Automobile originally began in 1937 as an aircraft company.

The formation of Saab came in response to the immediate requirements of the Swedish Government during the War, so its foundations began as a byproduct of the government’s needs.

Saab’s connections to its Swedish roots and aircraft heritage have been strengthened over the years. This can be seen during recent ad campaigns which focused on the ties between the aircraft engineers and Swedish design. This branding has become commonplace during the 19 years of ownership of Saab by General Motors.

While there is no question that Saab is a Swedish brand, the dire straits in which parent company General Motors is currently finds itself could mean the end of Saab. This could effectively end 60+ years of uniquely Swedish innovations, engineering and significant contributions to the automotive industry as a whole. Not only will there be an economic void of monumental proportions, there will also be a total loss of national pride and identity for the country of Sweden.

Across Sweden, industry, academia and government will all be affected if Saab were to be relegated to the backburner of the GM portfolio. It is clear that reversing this trend is the best way for Saab to maintain its unique Swedish design, engineering, innovation and identity. While there have been rumours that GM is thinking about potentially selling Saab to another car manufacturer, I believe that nationalizing the brand is the proper and most suitable method in order to continue Saab Automobile.

Having lived in Sweden, I have seen first hand the nationalized public transportation system which is as a critical infrastructure for the Swedish economy to thrive. In this respect, I do not see why a car company like Saab could not be nationalized as well.

The infrastructure in which the vehicles travel has already been paid for by the Swedish government and comprises some of the best roads in the world. In addition, the academic institutions, through governmentally funded programmes, have also been

subsidized by the Swedish Government when collaborating with Saab Automobile’s future product development.

Finally, the Swedish government will be at a significant advantage by owning Saab as it will have the full autonomy to design, build, and regulate the next generation of private transportation which will meet their goals of ending fossil fuel driven vehicles by 2020.

If the Swedish government is truly serious about meeting its goals of economic and environmental security, much like it was back in 1937, it will move quickly to nationalize Saab Automobile today.

Ryan Emge, Saab History

The site

www.saabhistory.com , is owned and managed independently from Saab

Automobile, GM and any other affiliates

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Who’s behind Lund’s spate of car burnings?

The university town of Lund has seen a spate of car burnings over the last ten days, and police are stumped as to the possible motive.

Who's behind Lund's spate of car burnings?
A burned out car in Lund. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Patrik Isacsson, the local police chief, said that his city was home to few of the angry, marginalized youths associated with past spates of car burnings in troubled districts like Husby and Rinkeby in Stockholm. 
 
“We have none of that sort of social unrest,” he told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “The police have not antagonized any young guys who might want to then take revenge.” 
 
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Lund has seen eight cars set on fire in the past ten days, with the most recent, an attack on a parked taxi on Norrängavägen in the east of the city, taking place early on Monday morning. 
 
Cars have been set alight across the city, often in locations close to the city centre. 
 
Isacsson said that the police were struggling to get a lead as none of the owners of the burned cars appeared to have any relation with one another. 
 
“We just don't know,” he admitted. 
 
“We are looking at youths in gangs, we're looking at pyromaniacs, we're checking out the people who like to stand and watch when they're burning, and we're looking at people who are mentally unwell and who want to get their frustration out through lighting fires.”
 
It was also possible that the burnings were part of an insurance fraud, Isacsson said, although he admitted this looked unlikely given the apparent lack of connection between the victims. 
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