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Official: Sweden won't own Saab or Volvo

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Official: Sweden won't own Saab or Volvo
06:27 CET+01:00
After meetings with executives from General Motors and Ford at the Detroit auto show Monday, a Swedish government official reiterated that the state had no intention of buying Saab and Volvo.

Jöran Hägglund, state secretary to the Minister for Enterprise and Energy, said that the Swedish government would "in no circumstances" take a stake in the troubled Swedish brands.

"General Motors and Ford must take their responsibility to secure the activities of Saab and Volvo," he added.

Hägglund called the meetings "positive" however, welcoming the "common interest concerning the future of Saab and Volvo."

Both GM and Ford are "very committed" to working "in close cooperation with the Swedish government and that is very good," he told reporters.

"We are from both sides very committed to keep both sides updated: from the governmental side what actions are taken in Sweden and from their side what they are doing now and the possible different solutions."

The conversation was focused on a potential aid packaged for Volvo and Saab and the strategic review the US automakers are currently undertaking of their Swedish brands.

Hägglund said that the government ought to decide within two weeks the rules for a state program to help the auto sector, which would include guarantees for loans from the European Investment Bank of 20 billion kronor ($3 billion) and emergency aid of 5 billion kronor.

The European Investment Bank could make a decision by the beginning of March, he added.

To obtain this aid, the companies have to present "accountable" long-term business plans.

"The owners realized that because of the fact that the Swedish government is putting 25 billion Swedish crowns on the table, their interest is to keep us well informed also about the selling process, if that will be the case," he said.

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