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GM to press ahead with Saab shutdown: report

AFP/The Local · 25 Dec 2009, 09:53

Published: 25 Dec 2009 09:53 GMT+01:00

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Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) newspaper reported on Wednesday that GM would not enter into further negotiations with Dutch sportscar maker Spyker.

"Saab's board had a short meeting yesterday. GM representatives were on the phone from the US. And the discussions were entirely about the shutting down Saab – not about the new bid," the newspaper wrote.

GM announced last week it would wind down its loss-making Swedish unit Saab after breaking off sales talks with Spyker.

But the Dutch company then made a last-ditch bid for the iconic brand, which it extended indefinitely hours before it was due to expire Monday.

"The word (at the meeting) was to shut down Saab and that is what we have started working on," Håkan Danielsson of Sweden's engineering union told SVD.

Danielsson was at the meeting and told the newspaper he estimated the wind down of Saab could take many years.

Spyker's new bid was received with scepticism in Sweden, and the government went ahead with preparing for a Saab closure despite the news of Spyker's second attempt to take over the auto brand.

On Monday, Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson vowed to help Saab's employees and home region, announcing public funding of 542 million kronor ($75 million) to create jobs and growth.

Matts Carlsson, one of Sweden's most respected auto industry analysts, meanwhile told Swedish radio that GM was probably not interested in selling Saab at all, suggesting the US carmaker would rather shut down Saab because of fears over future competition.

But Danielsson told SVD: "GM wants to sell Saab.... It is of course better to have money come in than pay the costs associated with shutting down."

Story continues below…

"But it is dragging on and it is going to take more time before everything is ready" for the deal to be completed,” he said.

Spyker chief executive Victor Muller told SVD Tuesday he was "working under a very difficult timeline" to reach a deal with GM.

The troubled US carmaker set a December 31st deadline for a potential sale or closure of its Swedish operations.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:39 December 25, 2009 by heresneezeduck
Hi its sorry to see saab go.Will volvo go the same way?,what has Sweden left for 2010,Sweden used to be a proud country but iam sorry to say, its more intrested helping with other things than its people.can someone tell the Sweds to get some pride and backbone or it will be to late
10:18 December 25, 2009 by BIL101
sweden got a bunch of politician who are are more interested in solving the global warming than helping their own people... what a stupid! Close down saab, then volvo, then let those gas-drinking muscle cars burn more, that might help bring people a cleanner sky!
11:44 December 25, 2009 by himilo
I suprised negative people comments on the local.se is this caused by immigrants comming to sweden? NO this is global failure. so please stop bad comments to immigrants. if there is job in the market no one would like to wait and recieve 3000 kr for what you said SFI course for 3 years.

13:21 December 25, 2009 by ups
I am a international student here, And I agree with himilo.

But I think it is hard to solove the problem as soon as possible.

I think Swedish goverment should learn something from U.S. on this.

PS:I will not be any immigrants.
15:20 December 25, 2009 by repat_xpat
Spyker had nothing to offer. They were posturing to get publicity and maybe, if lucky, steal some of the great GM IP that was going into the 9-5/Insignia. I'm sorry to see SAAB go and I'm sorry for my friends in Trollhattan. I pray that something will come and fill the void.
15:28 December 25, 2009 by ABuB
This article is (misspelled) and fraud, it puts GM (EARLIER) rejection for Spykers bid ahead of the new news, then start the article that says that the deal will continue.

If you only read the head line it will misdirect you.

Please Stop hurting your country with bad press, there should be freedom in press but not to attack your countrys brands reputation.

For Real Saab news check www.saabsunited.com

God be with us..
15:48 December 25, 2009 by Scotsaab
GM's response was as expected. They warrant no competition to the mighty US machine. History tells us that when it comes to American industrial might; if you can't overcome by fair means, use foul.

This is bad news for Sweden - a tragedy as those of us involved in the international motor industry realise that, despite the headlines accusations and economic woes of the world, the Saab situiation is driven by politics and unfair competition.

I hate to admit it, but this does look like the end of a fine marque - unless we get a late Christmas miracle?
17:32 December 25, 2009 by 2394040
It seems that the New World Order, once again, will have its way.
17:55 December 25, 2009 by JosefEugen
A sad day for Sweden and on Christmas.
20:18 December 25, 2009 by Taxalien
Himilo, what does the global balance sheet say for you? Do you on the one hand have Sweden as a global failure and what do you have on the other hand? Is China a global success story? Or are there just failures all around? If so where and how do you explain such folly by mankind? Lack of socialism?

Why are you so surprised that there is some bad sentiment towards immigrants? Are you not aware that there is one class of people who fund and pay, who are expected to contribute and are you not aware that there is another class of people who are expected to receive, spend and contribute nothing? This is the system Sweden adopted in 1968, under a socialist government. Everything else has followed in the footsteps of this illfated legislation and we are reaping the benefit today.

People who are not privy to any other information, who do not get or receive any critical journalism as this country is more or less under self censorship from reporting these issues and its ultimate real causes, what other conclusions can they make or be expected to make?

And before you take your gut instinct and throw hate my way, let me just tell you I have no problems whatsoever with immigrants. I've lived with one for the last 17 years whom I have a family with. She is as pissed off as I am too and so are many many other immigrants to this country. But it is very difficult for them or for people like me to be heard. The truth will come out 2010, but hopefully the blame will be placed where it is due. If the SD party gets its way, it will all be the immigrant parasites who came here, but if I get my way it will be placed squarely where it is due: at the elected and unelected representatives (journanlists and unions) of this country who enacted this system, who failed to report on it and who continue to walk around this elephant in the room which is killing Sweden.

My own belief is that what is best for Sweden is to reenact pre 1917 legislation, ie. harly any legislation at all. Sweden should be a free state, with free immigration from wherever you can come from. However, you will not get a penny in aid when you set foot here. You earn the right to protection against misfortune, it is not a God given right by politicians to dish it out because you are not Swedish. Such altruism is self defeating, illegal appropriation of citizen property and should have landed the political class in court for high treason decades ago.
20:36 December 25, 2009 by CatGirl
So sad! I hope they can eventually find another buyer or open it when there are better times ahead. I really feel for people who will loose their jobs. Bless you all!
22:28 December 25, 2009 by Scotsaab
What are the chances of an entirely new Saab being born out of the ashes with Swedish business acumen?

The industrial base is there, the skills are there, the market can be developed.

Don't let GM wind this manufacturer into oblivion.

Sweden needs to demand Swedish industrial enterprise take this company under its wing.

If 8000 direct and indirect jobs are to go from a population of under 10 million it's like Britain losing 60,000 jobs from one firm.


Your economy, your future and your pride is at stake.
01:18 December 26, 2009 by lingonberrie
Yes, The New World Order, and the Bilderburgs. So, I see that at least two on this blog are wisely aware.

The decision has been made to kill Saab by the above power.

GM not wanting competition plays into this factor. However, just as when the Bilderburgs backed Hitler and Hitler took off on his own, GM is taking off on their own, that is, they are already essentially dead, and they have just forgotten to roll-over.

The US economy is likewise essentially dead, and no matter what you might hear about their so-called "recovery" or "turnaround" or whatever falsehoods that they are propogating at the moment, their Depression deepens as their unemployment increases and more homes are foreclosed upon. They have had a smokescreen with their playacting about their so-called "health-care reform" and that nonsense has been dominating the news, as they had intended, for the sake off Chirstmas cheer, but their reality exists just as does the sun in the sky.

Not even AIPAC can save them now.
08:34 December 26, 2009 by ABuB
Please go and support Sweden's industry:

If GM thinks they will remove a possible competitor in the future by killing SAAB they are wrong!!!

Because the Swede should not buy from GM afterward.

*****For the love of those who will lose their jobs on Christmas!!!******


08:49 December 26, 2009 by JDV

…. what does the global balance sheet say for you? Do you on the one hand have Sweden as a global failure…

Here's what the global balance sheet says to me… America is the greatest failure, on the planet, in almost every category and all due to its blind faith in capitalism and the free market. Sweden has been a tremendous success story for a nation of this size and continuously ranks in the top 10 of all the nations on the planet, in almost category. It is our current government of ameirican fifth columnists and american wannebes that is trying destroy Sweden with failed american economic and social policies

"Why are you so surprised that there is some bad sentiment towards immigrants? Are you not aware that there is one class of people who fund and pay, who are expected to contribute and are you not aware that there is another class of people who are expected to receive, spend and contribute nothing?

I'm aware that immigrants are essential to Sweden and it's growth and they contribute not only to taxes and the economy and the social good at all levels.

"And before you take your gut instinct and throw hate my way, let me just tell you I have no problems whatsoever with immigrants. I've lived with one for the last 17 years whom I have a family with... But it is very difficult for them or for people like me to be heard."

Your lying. You do have problems with immigrants just not your wife. People like you are heard all the time, it's just that you have nothing of value to say and this statement proves it… as well as the xenophobic nonsense below.

"... Sweden should be a free state, with free immigration from wherever you can come from. However, you will not get a penny in aid when you set foot here. You earn the right to protection against misfortune, it is not a God given right by politicians to dish it out because you are not Swedish. Such altruism is self defeating..."

It is a prime responsibility of governments to not ensure but to expand the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness amongst others. Providing for all the people by sharing more equitably the cumulative wealth of the national effort ensures a stable, healthy society, which is good for both business and citizens alike whether or not they are on the giving or receiving end.

The Swedish Socialist model has proven this time and time again. That is why for a tiny nation of only 9 million… has been a resounding success story… both in business and social aspects for all our citizens…

Our government should do what we did in the past, make the all the Swedish citizens and masters of own destiny by making us the owners of Saab by seizing it and taking it over. Instead of looking to america they should be looking to Venezuela.
10:10 December 26, 2009 by Bostonexpat
Lingonberrie ..You should really read or know at least one pertinent fact about a situation before commenting or else you seem to be a crazed, US hating ignoramus that doesn't even live in or have a vested interest in Sweden. I'm sure that's not the case...

GM filed for Chapter 11/bankruptcy earlier this year and had to have a viable exit plan. Along the way, brands are being eliminated or sold and over 20,000 hourly workers 5,000+ salaried workers (US) have lost their jobs..more to come obviously from SAAB. If there wasn't a clear benefit in technology, a foothold, or sales (as exemplified by GM reneging on the sale of OPEL) the brand had to go ....

Agree that this is a tragedy ... Gov's continually step in to assist/prop up industry...I wish this had been the case W/SAAB
11:48 December 26, 2009 by Bensonradar
How very sad. Using public funding of 542 million kronor to create jobs and growth begs the question of why use state intervention when this money could be used to revitalize the company and keep it going in one shape or form?

The skilled workers who lose their jobs will be retrained to do what? I am sure they do not want to work in Burgerking or Pizzaland. Closing a large company like Saab will rip the guts out of the regional and national economy, creating further unemployment and the need for more public funding.

In the end, the government will spend more taxpayers money trying to retrain ex-Saab workers and affiliate suppliers who close down. If they had made a decision to save the company as a smaller car producer until a new buyer came foward, the social costs would be less.

It is a bad idea to stop manufacturing. Producing goods is the lifeblood of any economy, and with suppliers, creates thousands of jobs across the country.
12:32 December 26, 2009 by Mr B
Manufacturing is what drives an ecconemy,when this is gone,whats left? I fear for Sweden as I fear for the UK's future.Our manufacturing has reduced significantly over the last 20 years,and so has our place in the worlds top nations.We cannot keep buying goods from 'overseas',we should be making as much of what we need as we can or the money wil run out.Did the French Government support their motor industry in the 70's and 80;s? look at them now,French motor manufacturers are strong again,Saab could and should be save,not just for jobs,but for your country.
15:22 December 26, 2009 by Taxalien
@JDW: Fantastic. You rank the Reinfeldt government as a fifth column of american dreamers. They have managed to reduce the overall tax pressure by a measly 1-2% (now ~48%) and this makes them a total disaster on par with the "worst" capitalist state in the world, in your opinion.

Tell me, you probably worship the feet of Tage Erlander and his predecessors. What was the tax pressure in his and predecessors reign? 38%? What is it in the UK today? 39%. Were you all starving here in Sweden in the 40s, 50s, 60s? Right? Chaos, calamity and famine besought all the working families here. How thankful we should be that we got Olof P, the so called fifth column as you put it, that during 3 reigns have now produced absolutely nothing in terms of getting us back to a 38% tax pressure. And we've gotten rid of the ship builders, the textile industry, the car industry, the mobile phone and communications industry, and a lot of other manufacturing industries too numerous to mention. We are turning into the monocrop nation producing little more of value than forest products, which incidentally is where we started before the liberal revolution opened Sweden and made industrialisation a new reality.

I'm xenophobic you say. Wonderful. My attitude of wanting free immigration like my liberal predecessors proves it. I've been an immigrant myself for over 11 years in the UK, I have friends of all colours, both straight and gay. Your little tongue is coloured red of hate because you see everyone through the antagonistic eyes of a socialist. I pity you. You will never be free from your prejudice on how we can live in peace with eachother if you suspect each and everyone to be your enemy.
20:22 December 26, 2009 by michalino
Sweden will live bad times. It seems the Saab story is out, the Volvo should follow them. Sweden will haven't nothing in the future. To imagine: Most know brand will be sold. Public funding should get the SAAB itself. It's not happend. The government help and assist to gangster from overseas to get their wins only. The country with the government took wrong way I think. Willingness to do something felt out. I'm relly sad. Good luck Sweden
21:59 December 26, 2009 by lingonberrie
You are rambling Bostonexpat

However, you sound very much like an American who comes to the defense of both GM and the U.S. and of whose ilk usually have a nationalistic tendency for crazed behaviour .

You can also triple those numbers, or quadruple them, and you still won't be near the amount of people who have lost jobs and will still lose jobs because of GM.

As for the Bilderberugs and the Globolists, read The Rise of the Fourth Reich, an American book by an American author.

Think New World Order bush, the moron who was the US. president for eight years and who exported his Depression to Europe.

You do not have to live in the United States to know what is happening there, indeed, many who do live there are clueless.

I am a Swede.
01:58 December 27, 2009 by Moshe
If Saab isn't selling autos and making a profit, why should it be propped-up?

The Swedish government needs to do like the US did and spend some money on the Swedish side of Saab in order to protect the Swedish people.

How about the EU? They should be protecting you but they will not.
20:13 December 27, 2009 by Taxalien
@Moshe. They had a television debate when Koenigsegg signed off as a suitor to state aid to help out SAAB. In it the various parties involved in the failure debated. There was only one or two representatives of the free market interests, the rest were unions, former or current workers and politicians.

The point came up, whether the unions would accept a new deal involving reduced working week or wages. They said categorically no, the current deal had only been an exception and no such exceptions would be forthcoming in the future. They had contributed enough already. Then they all blasted the government for not coming to the rescue.

Ask yourselves, why should you support a car maker, producing cars nobody in whole wide world wants to buy, despite being backed by one of the biggest car making conglomerates in the world. You might say despite is the wrong word.

However, why should each and every tax paying Swede, forsake a days work (figuratetively) to support this car maker, when the unions and the workers have just told you that they have already done enough?

The problem with the Swede is that he is thinks of taxes as something someone else pays and that it involves money. He never sees money as a more convenient way to contribute labour to the state, ie. that saving SAAB would mean working a day or so for free, without pay compensation. He just goes around crazy of fear screaming for "subsidy, give us more subsidy!" as if it all came from a magic little box full of gold someone else put there.
04:46 December 30, 2009 by krigeren
To the casual observer much of what you say might be missed...I have started to look into some of the details of what you are saying based upon Swedish history...the development of industrialization here...for example...and your thoughts ring true...the Sweden that was designed to be built as an industrial powerhouse had little to do with ideology and more to do with practicality...practicality in the sense of pragmatism of what worked...ideology only later latched on to this concept and eventually once other competitive advantages eroded dragged the nation down to the state where it is now....socialism was never the cause of the success of Sweden rather just a parasite that caught on to the innovation that existed here....quite an odd twist of events and perspective...you have me thinking...
17:08 January 3, 2010 by muda
What is Swedish government doing. SAAB and VOLVO involve national pride and nothing has been done by the government to save these companies. Swedish government should step in directly or indirectly to save these two companies. Forget about FREE MARKET, NATIONALISM should come first. US goverment spent trillion of USD to bail out troubled companies despite the call for free market by them. Swedish government should do the same.Be careful, new economic powers strategise themselves to conquer the world economically through the call for free market.
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