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'All hope is not lost for Saab': official

TT/David Landes · 1 Dec 2009, 07:50

Published: 01 Dec 2009 07:50 GMT+01:00

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“Absolutely! Absolutely. We were all caught unawares when Koenigsegg jumped off last week. But myself, the government and GM are working very hard to find an alternative, a quick solution,” Jonsson told the TT news agency.

He would not say how he thinks the board of GM will vote, but he is sure that a decision about Saab’s fate will come following the board’s meeting on Tuesday.

“Now we’ve made sure that everyone has the same information; that all the facts are on the table. Then we’ll have to see what sort of proposals the GM board puts forward,” said Jonsson.

State secretary Jöran Hägglund from the Swedish industry ministry added that there is a chance the beleaguered Swedish brand will survive.

“All hope is not lost for Saab, just like all hope wasn’t lost last week,” he told TT.

He was satisfied with the meetings he and the rest of the delegation from Sweden had with the GM board of directors, but refused to say whether he was more optimistic about Saab’s future before or after the meeting.

“We had a good conversation. There was a really good tone. Now we’ll see how long it lasts. It’s GM that owns Saab, and it’s GM that owns the process.”

According to Hägglund, the GM board members were “receptive”.

“We described carefully what we have in the Swedish toolbox,” he said, alluding primarily to the loan guarantees and publicly financed research programme currently on offer by the Swedish state.

Hägglund added that there will be “many different meetings with different buyers” in the United States, but he would not reveal who the prospective buyers are.

“We’ll have reason to comment on that in due time. What I’m saying is that all hope is not lost,” he said.

Saab CEO Jonsson also refrained from commenting on who he planned to meet while in Detroit, or even if he would be accompanied by Swedish government representatives.

His goal, regardless of the buyer, is to try to keep Saab’s manufacturing base in Trollhättan in western Sweden.

“Our business plan is based on concentrating all manufacturing in Sweden. We’re working hard to find a solution,” he said.

Nevertheless, tensions in Trollhättan were running high on Tuesday morning in anticipation of a decision from the GM board that will likely decide the fate of the town’s nearly 4,000 Saab employees.

“Uncertainty is the worst,” said Anette Hellgren, local representative for the Unionen labour group, to TT.

Story continues below…

“Today we want to have a decision.”

Hellgren explained that the head of Unionen, Cecilia Fahlberg, plans to visit the union’s Trollhättan members on Tuesday.

“We need to have a decision about how the future will look. It’s not good for our employees or our products when things drag on so long,” she said.

Despite her anxiety, Hellgren added that she is “happy” that discussions about Saab’s future continue and that prospective buyers remain interested in the company.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:54 December 1, 2009 by Plowbridge
I fear today marks the beginning of the end for SAAB as we know it. The morons at GM look like flogging it to the Chinese after which production and support businesses in Sweden will be reduced to a trickle.
09:24 December 1, 2009 by spy
I am sure we will have an indication of Saab's future by late evening. Good luck Saab!
09:28 December 1, 2009 by rugla
No to worry Nemesis will save them, she has a few ideas up her sleeve, hope she has time after she gets to the bottom of the Koenigsegg conspiracy!

According to our esteemed co-reader, the Swedish government has the authority to confiscate SAAB from GM, since they have been funding the company for many years, and now she would like more funds so that in 2080 they might be able to turn positive, and eventually produce good technology.

Bummer for SAAB, is that according to Von Egg Head Segg in as little as a few years he will have his cars running on water as stated in his propaganda, so that leaves SAAB in the same position they are in, not being able to compete with other manufacturers producing vehicles far superior and capturing most of market share.
11:41 December 1, 2009 by Nemesis
@ rugla

The only conpiracy is in your moronic mind.

You may want SAAB destroyed, I do not. I want to see it saved.
11:58 December 1, 2009 by rugla
I don´t want SAAB destroyed, what we do not want and need are good tax payer funds after a losing venture, but what do you know, Nemesis, honestly did manage to even get a GED in the armed forces?
12:17 December 1, 2009 by Rick Methven

Who is the "we" that "do not want" ?

As for the rest of your unintelligent post, learn some English before you post on an English language site
13:49 December 1, 2009 by Nemesis
@ Rick Methven

Rugla is a troll. Most likely a previous poster under a different name. Started to post seeming selectively quoting posts from before joining.

Also has a pathological hatred of christian von konsegsegg. Makes crazy allegations with no evidence. See


There appears to be a lot of people on the local, who really hate Sweden and anyone in Sweden who sticks there head above the parapet to try to do something in Sweden.
14:36 December 1, 2009 by spy

Have you heard of the idiom: 'pot calling kettle black'?
14:42 December 1, 2009 by Nemesis
@ spy

I see the USA is starting to wake up.

Enjoy attacking everything Swedish as you usually do. Have you ever thought about taking a hard look at the mess your own country is in and the problems its causes worldwide?
15:41 December 1, 2009 by Twiceshy
According to an article at Gm Inside News, there are two options GM is considering:

1- Liquidate Saab.

2- Keep Saab but close the Trollhättan factory and move production to Opel factories elsewhere in Europe.

I don't know how credible this is, though...
15:43 December 1, 2009 by rugla
Nemesis: First of all I´m Swedish, Not a previous poster but a previous reader, who has not enjoyed your ridiculous comments posted on other articles, your delusions of grandeur and knowledge in all subjects seems to amaze me, and trust me, I'm not the only one!

And you DICK Methven, like to see how well you do in Swedish or any other language!

I do not have a pathological hatred for Koenigsegg, but merely making fun of the situation, which I happen to know more about it than you pathetic harpy!

I´m an analyst in the car and manufacturing industry and your insane comments were brought to our attention by one of my colleagues working here in Stockholm from our office in the US.

So thanks for the fun you have provide us, it has been a hut!

15:49 December 1, 2009 by GREG FOLSE
Lets just all see what happens today at GM and go from there.

If GM has any brains they will keep the Swedish brand Alive

it is far more superior then lets say Saturn or GMC. I hope

and pray for the best outcome. STAY TUNED!!

USA/Sweden Interior Designer
17:09 December 1, 2009 by Nemesis
@ rugla,

This situation is far from funny. The fact that you consider thousands of people losing there jobs to be funny, lets me know how sick and twisted you really are.

"I´m an analyst in the car and manufacturing industry and your insane comments were brought to our attention by one of my colleagues working here in Stockholm from our office in the US."

Thank you for confirming what someone else suspected you were in an email to me today.

News for you, americans can't run car companies these days. Swedes do it better, but you wouldn't know that.
17:18 December 1, 2009 by spy

I applaud your recent coments and sentimenmts regarding Saab, however generally I think you are a fearful troll who enjoys showing-off in the hope that someone will converse with you.

And for the record I am not American and I live in Sweden.
17:54 December 1, 2009 by klosenuf
I agree with Greg...

I want to see SAAB back on it's feet! As far as you other clowns... Stop habitually turning this thing into a USA vs Sweden verbal war.

Everyone gauges an American based on Political decisions made by our country. I call that stereotyping!!!

I worked in Sweden for a bit, there are lazy bumbs, bad decision-makers and free-loading sponges of the system, there just as there are here... Neither one of us is perfect, that's just the way it goes.

...In the end, I have a lot of Swedish colleagues/friends at SAAB that I do not want to see out on the streets JOBLESS...
18:19 December 1, 2009 by rugla
Once again Nemesis making comments with out checking the facts, if you see my previous comments below you see that I´m concerned for the people loosing their jobs, however the picture is larger than dork!

09:48 December 1, 2009 by rugla

@ Krigeren, spot on!

There is little to seize, the sad part of the story for the people involved is the job loss, there is nothing else, the technological magic and IPR has been gone for years, all the patents all the good stuff GONE.

This is the very reason the government should stay out of it, help the people losing their jobs with re-training, re-schooling whatever, help them.

Why put money behind to keep something alive when it has been dead for some time? There is nothing else there!

If investors want to play with their money let them try, government involvement is another thing, an investor sees red, the first thing that happens is they divest the asset base cash as much as they can and leave others including the tax payer holding the bag, this was the worry of the government with Von Egg Head Segg, no transparency, overstatement of capabilities, etc, etc.
18:25 December 1, 2009 by mkvgtired
Regardless of who it is, hopefully some investors will be able to salvage SAAB. That means some of the employees might have to make concessions.
08:47 December 2, 2009 by spy
Well done Saab!
09:12 December 2, 2009 by Flying Scotsman
What happens if SAAB is bought over by a Chinese company and they move all production employment out to China, what for SAAB then? I really can't see their future in Sweden because of employment costs.

With any company your largest expense is salaries, the only way I can see SAAB operational would be if manufacturing is moved to a different location where production costs are far less, along with the cost of materials. This would allow them to hold a profitable margin, possibly enough to turn the company around.
13:44 December 2, 2009 by spy
Flying Scotsman

You are dreaming again. They catagorically will not be bought by a Chinese company and production will not move to China. GM will not sell current technology to a Chinese firm as it would compete with the Buick brand which is massive in China and a good earner for GM.
14:55 December 2, 2009 by Flying Scotsman

I think you argument is pie in the sky!

You have no idea like anyone else what is going to happen to this company in the short or long term. Ask yourself why has this company not made a profit in 20 years, and before you come up with another theory that the Americans have taken all the profits out of SAAB, at least entertain us with some foundation to your theory, please.

Sweden is ranked within the top three managed economies in the world. This is because of the tax collected from salaries, and cost of living, etc. As far as I learnt at business school (Handelshögskolan) all investments in production are being moved to emerging markets to exploit cheaper costs, and foreign governments are welcoming foreign direct investment with open arms. Technologies can be moved, it is called a specific asset, all businesses have some form of asset. SAAB is no different, but it's only chance to get back into profit is to move out of Sweden so costs can be reduced and passed onto the consumers, this is the key to their growth.

And spy, I don't dream or pretend I know business, I have studied it, I understand how it functions in todays "global village" with globalisation. SAAB has one option if it wants to compete and grown. I have perfectly described it for you because it seems you are having a little difficulty understanding what needs to be done to save this company.

What is cheaper for the country, making all SAAB staff redundant and using Sweden's national accounts to fund unemployment? Or do we keep on throwing money at this company and get nothing more than an expensive car that only has a majority market share in Sweden. My view is that it is better for the country to move SAAB out and fund unemployment, this is made on a long term calculation. This may seem harsh, but living in the real world of business is no place for people sympathetic to the effects of their decisions. A company has to make profit, thats is function, surplus over costs, and SAAB has not be able to do that for along time.
16:21 December 2, 2009 by Rick Methven

And you DICK Methven, like to see how well you do in Swedish or any other language!

I can read and write:








I can also get by in Russian, Portuguese and a few other languages.

"one of my colleagues working here in Stockholm from our office in the US."

That answers the 'we' question that you failed to answer.

Your "WE" means the Americans
16:17 December 3, 2009 by spy
Flying Scotsman

I must say I am terribly impressed you have studied business.. What do you think I studied? Horse Psychology?

My opinion may be 'pie in the sky' to you but frankly anyone who knows anything about the Auto industry would see that many of the following arguments are likely.

1) GM would be extremely nervous about selling current technology to a Chinese company due to fears over security of intellectual property.

2) GM sells a large amount of Buicks in China and will not do anything to erode market share.

3) The Swedish government will not support production leaving Sweden and this fact alone will close the door to some companies.

4) Chinese are notoriously difficult and time consuming to deal with and what Saab needs is speedy close.

Weighing up all of these facts, I say again, in my opinion: GM will not sell current or future Saab technology to China and therefore production of current and future models will not leave Sweden.
19:48 December 3, 2009 by Flying Scotsman

Relating to my employment, I have been employed within the automotive industry for the last 17 years.

I have worked for:

Ford Motor Company ~ 4 years

Audi/VW/SEAT ~ 2 years

Bentley/Rolls Royce ~ 3 years

Peugeot ~ 3 years

Rover ~ 3 years

Nissan ~ 2 years

I am more qualified than anyone else to be making comments relating to the automotive industry on this website, and thats why I ONLY participate in discussions involving general business within my industry.

Relating to your points

1) If GM need to sell this company, it will go to anyone who is interested, regardless of intellectual property issues. If you own a company that has a loss record like SAAB, they can have everything they need, GM will even pay an interested party to take this off their hands, from my own personal experiences.

2) SAAB could be moved to Mexico where labour costs low. Many motor companies have production sites here, this has decreased the average total costs in production, and stimulates an increased market share by passing on the savings to the consumers. By being able to sell cheaper automobiles than your competitors or at least to make it more affordable to be able to reach new customers from other manufactures.

3) I agree with your opinion on this completely, but what is best to keep the business operational

4) Capital is readily available in China, and like the Rover sale, if they want it bad enough, they buy it fast enough.

Your points are good and logical, and I agree that number 3 could be the only reason that SAAB stay in Sweden, even if it is going to cost Sweden dearly in the long turn. They are just holding on to a failed national icon.
10:06 December 4, 2009 by spy
Flyaway Scotsman

You are showing an arrogance that is almost unbelievable. Frankly I don't want to air my experience in this forum but for all you know I could be a potential investor.

Open your eyes, read and learn:

1) Saab will not be sold lock-stock-and-barrel to the Chinese for a number of reasons: GM would be extremely nervous about selling current technology to a Chinese company due to fears over security of intellectual property. GM sells a large amount of Buicks in China and will not do anything to erode market share. Saab also needs a quick deal and the Chinese do not act fast as their companies involve state ownership. This is not to say that Chinese companies would be sold outgoing technology that does not compete with current GM products.

2) Saab will not be moved to Mexico - where did you dream this up???? If a buyer wants an EIB loan then production must remain in Sweden. The Swedish government will not support production leaving Sweden and this fact alone will close the door to some companies. As a caveat Saab already has plans produce a crossover in Mexico alongside on a shared GM platform. But this car is as it is predominantly for the US and Asian market and it makes sense to build it there.

3) Chinese are notoriously difficult and time consuming to deal with and what Saab needs is speedy close.

Anyway I don't want to waste any more time on you, time will tell, so toodle-pip.
11:48 December 4, 2009 by Flying Scotsman

The difference is you first made assumptions I don't know too much regarding business, which I confirmed for you! Then you made another assumption that I knew nothing regarding the automobile industry, now you are making assumptions that who ever decides to buy SAAB will need an EIB loan. What planet are you on? Who even considers that a european company will be the only ones to take SAAB on? And even better what company in Europe in current conditions can do this, short and sweet NONE.

I love your statement below.

You are showing an arrogance that is almost unbelievable. Frankly I don't want to air my experience in this forum but for all you know I could be a potential investor?

SPY I think you are dreaming, big time. I have shown no arrogance but only knowledge, something you clearly lack. And if you are a possible investor, you are clearly a junior!
13:55 December 4, 2009 by spy
Flying Scotsman

Since you are getting personal: After years of scratching your way up the ranks of various car manufacturers you now find yourself in Sweden, probably as a Ford employee seconded to Volvo. You are a lower-to-middle manager who has a little knowledge based only what you hear in the corridors where the 'grown-ups' work. You are an avid reader of automotive websites and you like belittling car enthusiasts with your industry knowledge because you, yourself are oppressed at work. Now stop being an argumentative smart-arse.
16:29 December 4, 2009 by Flying Scotsman

Again nostradamus your conclusions are poor, just like your comments left on this site. What makes you think I have a connection with Ford or Volvo, next you will be telling us I work at Mercedes HQ in Malmo?

Anyway Mr Buffet, why don't you buy SAAB?

My money says its going to China, and I will gladly remind you soon enough you were wrong.
17:29 December 4, 2009 by spy
Well done, now toddle off an stalk someone else.
07:22 December 5, 2009 by rugla
@ DICK Methven

OK DICK Impresive list, but doubt it since you show the attitude of an INAVEL person, here is something at your level!

This site is amusing, so much talent, yet so much time spent throwing dirt and insulting each other, you forget the very subject discussed in the first place.

Anyway how is this following your list?

Pen pidyn, Ti'n llawn cachu, Haliwr

Capullo, metete un palo por el culo marica, me cago en ti

Tête de noeud, nique ta mère

Lul Hoerenjong sukkel

da-te-n pula mea,

10:02 December 5, 2009 by misssquirrel

You are quite right Flying Scotsman does think he has all the answers and to say that he is "more qualified than anyone else" to talk about cars on this site is absurd as a great many expats logging on will work for automotive companies.
20:52 December 5, 2009 by Mr B
Just found this site and was interested in finding out more about Saabs future.I'm dissapointed to find all the bitching going on.I work for a large Japanese motor manufacturer in the UK,and even with the high manufactuing costs here,we still manage to hold our own in a global market..The problem may be the way GM operates its business.Massive wages and private planes etc for senior executives does'nt help,they would definately benefit from studying the way our business is carried out (TPS,Kaizen,JIT,you know the rest).Its surprising how much you can cut from your manufacturing budget,even in Sweden,I'm sure Saab could turn a profit with the right kind of Management.I hope they do as I've been driving Saabs for over 20 years and intend to carry on doing so.Lets hear some realistic solutions please.
21:33 December 5, 2009 by Flying Scotsman
@ SPY & missquireel

Well Spy, it looks as though you have been proved wrong and what I have commented on is accurate. Not bad for someone you consider lacks knowledge. Check the link below:


My estimate is that the deal will be done before the end of January 2010. It seems that you should wake up and smell the coffee!


My comments are nothing more than an argument against SPY's view of events. I feel that what I have commented on is what needs to happen to save this company. And yes, I do posses the experience of working in this area and my arguments support this, thats why you both stand to be corrected on what the future of this company turns out to be.
10:53 December 6, 2009 by spy
That does not prove anything you porridge-brained fool!

Now stop being a stalker and go and talk to someone who actually likes you, if such a person exists.
11:16 December 6, 2009 by misssquirrel

I should ignore him as his comments are arrogant and his tone is unpleasant, what an uncivilized fellow and I think he has a big ego too. Don't you just hate these people who paste links into posts? It shows a real naivity and a lack of imagination.

So what if BAIC have arranged credit lines, surely Saab will cost much less than 3bn so what's the rest of the money for? Perhaps they will buy Volvo and then Flying Scotsman will have a Chinese master to clean the floors for.
11:27 December 6, 2009 by spy

Yes I will certainly not spend another minute replying to him although I suspect that he is the sort of person who will need to have the last word..

But anyway good point about the media links, if we beleived everything written about Saab then they would already have closed down as well as having been sold to about 10 different parties. The proof will be in the eating and Saab has not been sold yet. I wish them the best of luck I would even be happy if they got a Chinese buyer, but I just can not see GM selling current and future technology to the Chinese (the old stuff they would be happy to sell).
20:09 December 6, 2009 by Flying Scotsman
SPY/Miss S

There is no need for abuse, and no I am not the type of person who has to have the last word, but someone who participates and discusses issues with an open interest, just like a civilised Swedish society does. You clearly lack the courtesy these people have, which leaves me to assume your not from here either.

If you think that an individual who takes your opinion and creates an argument with them is a stalker, also tells me you are not very well educated either.

It would further not surprise me either if you created misssquirrel just to massage your own ego!
21:04 December 6, 2009 by misssquirrel
Flying Scotsman

You say you don't want the last word and then you can't resist it. Then you say there is no need for abuse and then go on to abuse. You really are a sad little man with an overinflated ego, why don't you just go and get a life.
21:27 December 6, 2009 by Flying Scotsman
SPY you muppet, I can even tell you created misssquirrel, why don't you click on her name and see when the profile was created you plonker. For some strange reason it was set up yesterday after your comment.


Member Group: Members

Joined: Yesterday, 9:48
08:20 December 7, 2009 by spy
Yes and I suppose I created you too just to make me look clever! I actually feel sorry for you spending your weekend evenings on this website looking for conspiracies. I suggest you take a dose of reality.
22:17 December 9, 2009 by misssquirrel
Unless I am a figment of my own imagination I am very real, and have an independent opinion.
01:30 December 10, 2009 by SamUSA
good! i think sweden with their 9.2 million population should just sell to china...they are going to take over the world one day anyways. learn mandarin and let swedish go extinct.
08:40 December 10, 2009 by spy
A good idea. . Perhaps they should do it just after the majority of US citizens get passports and learnt to speak English properly.
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