Saab production grinds to a halt

All production ceased at Saab's Trollhättan plant on Wednesday after it emerged that the embattled Swedish car maker had failed to pay customs duties.

Saab production grinds to a halt

The Swedish Customs agency has blocked the transportation of all goods to and from the company as Saab’s payment problems intensify, newspaper Göteborgs-Posten reports.

Saab’s production manager Gunnar Brunius confirmed that the company was unable to manufacture any more cars after the customs agency blocked the importation of parts needed in the plant.

“But I’m expecting we’ll be able to resolve this over the course of Wednesday evening,” he told news agency TT.

“The Customs Agency is holding onto our goods. I have received no indications about us being unable to pay,” Brunius added.

The customs block encompasses all goods on their way to Saab from countries outside the European Union, according to Hans Ohlsson from Swedish Customs, who said Saab owed a “considerable” sum of money.

The Customs agency’s move comes just days after Saab applied for bankruptcy protection.

According to Ohlsson, Saab now has the option of either finding the money somewhere or finding somebody who will pay the debt on their behalf.

“They would have to pay all of Saab’s credit. Saab is not getting a penny of credit from us,” he said.


Trollhättan remembers school attack victims

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Three people were killed in an attack that shocked Sweden as a masked, sword-wielding assailant entered the school, stabbing students and teachers who appeared to be of foreign origin. Several people were also injured. The attacker, 21-year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson, was then shot dead by police.

“It was an attack on all of Sweden,” Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said as the procession ended outside the school.

In the week running up to the one-year anniversary, students of the school had made thousands of postcards in memory of the teacher, pupil and teacher aide who were killed in the assault.

A police investigation has showed that Lundin had planned the attack, which lasted around 10 minutes, after being inspired by racist websites.

A teenage student told The Local at the time that many people at the school at first thought it was some kind of a prank.

“I was in a classroom with my class when one of my classmates’ sisters called her to warn her that there was a murderer at the school. So we locked the door to the classroom, but our teacher was still outside in the corridor.”

“We wanted to warn him, so a few of us went outside and then I saw the murderer, he was wearing a mask and had a sword. Our teacher got stabbed.”

“The murderer started chasing me, I ran into another classroom. If I had not run, I would have been murdered. I’m feeling really scared. Everyone’s scared here.”

Trollhättan is an industrial town with around 50,000 residents.