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Sweden reacts with dismay to Saab closure

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Sweden reacts with dismay to Saab closure
16:12 CET+01:00
The news that carmaker Saab is to be closed down by owner General Motors has been greeted with widespread dismay in Sweden.

Industry Minister Maud Olofsson described the news as "very bleak", while Left Party leader Lars Ohly, whose party is a junior member of the opposition Red-Green coalition, called for the government to be proactive.

"The important thing now is that the state pursues more proactive policies to stimulate investment, and that it is prepared to get involved in various projects itself in the next few years. State welfare projects have a strategic importance in this regard. The state has a very big responsibility for Trollhättan," he said.

Car industry expert Martin Sköld at the Stockholm School of Economics said the news was "depressing and tragic".

"But right from the start I had very little hope that it would be possible to find a buyer," he said.

"It is also a big loss for the country, when you think about all the knowledge and competence that has been built up over a long period."

Sköld said that the recession and the crisis in the car industry had turned out to be the final nail in Saab's coffin.

"We've been talking about either an established carmaker with financial muscles taking over a bleeding Saab, or a company like Koenigsegg or most recently Spyker with little financial muscle," Sköld said.

"International car sales have fallen steeply and in Saab's case they have been in free fall. It would have required huge amounts to get Saab on its feet again, and the brand has been seriously damaged as the company's crisis has worsened," he added.

An iconic brand: Saab's history in pictures

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