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Workers: 'Save Saab from Gangster Motors'

TT/The Local · 12 Jan 2010, 12:46

Published: 12 Jan 2010 12:46 GMT+01:00

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"There was enormous support as 3,500 people turned out to demonstrate in support of our battle to save Saab," Håkan Danielsson, head of the local chapter of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (Sveriges Ingenjörer) told The Local shortly after the demonstration.

It didn’t take long for the crowd to erupt in cheers of “Save Saab! Save Saab!”, urged on by the words of the head of Unionen labour group’s local chapter, Annette Hellgren.

“Mr. Obama – please save Saab,” read one banner unfurled by the Saab workers frustrated by the seemingly unending drama surrounding the company’s future.

“GM – General Mistake”, read another.

The speaker’s podium was emblazoned with a sign reading, “Save Saab from GM, Gangster Motors”, further signaling dissatisfaction with GM among the plant’s employees for the auto giant’s seeming inability to provide a clear answer regarding whether Saab will be sold or shut down.

In a letter to GM head Ed Whitacre presented at the demonstration and signed by "The Proud Employees of Saab Automobile AB", Saab workers urge the US automaker to sell Saab.

"Show us that you keep promises," reads the brief letter.

"Save Saab - Sell Saab."

The four main union chapters represented at Saab’s Trollhättan plant have also sent a letter entitled, “Why endanger American taxpayers’ money?”, to US-based media outlets.

"It is a waste of US tax payers money not to sell Saab!!!," write the union representatives in an attempt to frame the sale of Saab by GM, which received billions of dollars in government aid to help it survive, as an issue of using public money responsibly.

It was snowy and cold when Saab workers arrived for work on Tuesday morning.

Lena Dahl, who has worked at the plant for 28 years made it clear her dissatisfaction with GM management had reached boiling point.

“If I had those guys eye to eye, I don’t know what I’d do,” she told the TT news agency.

It remains unclear whether or not the company will be sold or shuttered.

Story continues below…

According to Saab factory spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs, the plant is trying to operate with both possibilities in mind.

“We’re working on two parallel tracks, and obviously hope that we don’t need to use the track which leads to liquidation,” she told the TT news agency.

“There are still ongoing discussion about the sale of Saab Automobile,” she added.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:38 January 12, 2010 by michalino
Well done boy's. Don't give up. Hey Swedisch Government should see the massive support from the fans over the world. GM has to SELL right now!

Griffin Up. SAAB Up.
13:41 January 12, 2010 by Mina08
so why did they sell saab to Gm in the first place.......?
13:54 January 12, 2010 by tillerman
Because it couldn't survive on its own and its Swedish owners wanted to take the money and run....
14:39 January 12, 2010 by Nemesis
It is good to see the workers in Trollhätten demonstrating and getting angry.

The workers in Trollhätten deserve our support.

I hope there jobs are saved.
15:04 January 12, 2010 by americanska
Nothing is quite so effetive at changing the world as making clever signs like "GM - General Mistake". Call Al Sharpton.

Everyone on here talking about the great tradition of SAAB cars. GM owned them for 1/3 of their life. And GM gave them thier logo.

GM was founded 40 years before the car manufactoring branch of SAAB.
15:13 January 12, 2010 by KingArthur
Get your facts straight amerikanski

Saab came just after WWII with the 92001 . The company itself exists from 1937

Thats 72 year aprox. You say it has been owned by GM for 1 / 3 of its life ? that would be 24 years (since aprox 1986. But fact is in 1990 GM had 50 % of Saab, Not before 2000 Saab became fully to GM
15:34 January 12, 2010 by Nemesis
@ KingArthur

Well said.
15:41 January 12, 2010 by americanska
ha - so i was a couple years off.

are my other fact "wrong"
15:50 January 12, 2010 by KingArthur
Erm yeah, the logo was not made by GM. You are so typical Amerikan or Pro Amerikan

They always think they can steal anything (everything) and call it there own design
15:51 January 12, 2010 by Roy E
It would be going differently if the US Government were not involved. GM is now referred to as 'Government Motors'. It is hugely unpopular since the Obama Administration strong armed and bought its way into GM management, stiffed all the investors , and ripped off all the pensioners. Calling it 'Gangster Motors' is pretty close to the same thing. People are shunning the company. Sales are way down and will probably stay that way while other firms do well. 'GM' is now a dirty word.

One would think that getting something for SAAB makes a lot more sense than nothing, but when you look at the mindlessness an the governments 'bailouts' and takeovers, it's clear that common sense has departed and the worst of all scenarios is indeed possible. Driving into the ditch seems to be the Obama Administration's specialty. I wish the outlook were more positive for SAAB.

The universal moral of this story is NEVER GIVE UP YOUR SOVEREIGNTY!

It's something to keep in mind as the political class embraces and promotes the EU .
15:52 January 12, 2010 by anticommie
LOL, no one in sweden will buy this pos company why should anyone else want it. Funny the we hate business crowd is finding out what happens when rich people leave with their money. Go ask some welfare junkie for a job. LOSERS!
16:29 January 12, 2010 by tillerman
I love the Swedish anti-foreign company sentiment.

Perhaps it should be shared with the domestic phone equipment manufacturers worldwide who are no longer there because of Eriksson, the engineering firms who failed because of ABB's size and economies of scale, and the local furniture manufacturers and stores killed by IKEA.

These things are a two way street.
16:43 January 12, 2010 by jose_s
The only thing swedish about IKEA is the name.. everything else is made elsewhere. SABB would have gone belly up if GM would not have purchased it. Why blame them if they could not revive a brand that was dying anyways. Maybe their biggest mistake was taking on the dead weight from the beginning. GM should have had their hands full with the amount of crappy cars they were already making.
16:45 January 12, 2010 by Zoolander428
Hey now tillerman, I think we've all learned reality has no place here in the comments section.
16:50 January 12, 2010 by anticommie
Doesnt the owner of ikea live in switzerland now? Funny even he doesnt want to live in that country and all his money is helping another country.
16:59 January 12, 2010 by Rick Methven
"And GM gave them thier logo"

what crap typical American thinking Americans design everything:LOL

The logo was designed by the artist Carl Fredik Reuterswärd The insignia depictes a mythological beast Gripen (griffin) with the Saab name. Gripen also is the name of the JAS 39 jet fighter being produced by the Saab aeroplane factory.

The logo has nothing to do with GM. they have had royalty free use of the SAAB as in Svenska Aeroplan Aktie Bolaget as long as they are producing cars. There is a clause somwhere that if they close down the car division, they will have to pay a lot of money in back royalties.
17:04 January 12, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
CORRECTION: Swedish Taxpayers "Save SAAB from Gangster Unions", GM kept this company on a life support machine 19 years past its sell by date. The Swedish unions just milked its owners dry during the interim period.

If you're looking for fingers to point, start with the Wallenbergs at Investor AB who took the money and ran.
17:51 January 12, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
Typical slow dimwited Swedish unions.

They should have been making noises months ago when the Clowningsegg negotiations were dragging out. Now the horse has has well and truly bolted and no one will be listening.
17:56 January 12, 2010 by Luckystrike
That's right. The workers who obviously did a poor job, hence no profits, are fighting to keep their jobs to keep making...mmm...No profit. Makes sense!
18:35 January 12, 2010 by planethero
Face it, there is over production of cars. 10 year old cars still look brand new, in the old days a 10 year old car was a rusting POS money pit.

Make something else at the factory that people WANT TO BUY.
19:04 January 12, 2010 by rahpor
Juridically seen, the IKEA company is based in The Netherlands, where it's a build up in two legal business entities and a foundation... Dutch and Swedes are doing well together, apparently, with Spyker is Dutch too (or at least as Dutch as Ikea is, lol)
19:15 January 12, 2010 by spy

You make multiple points and then 'pull your pants down' as they are all proved to be wrong - thanks for the amusement.
19:18 January 12, 2010 by americanska
I know very well what the Gripen fighter is. I'm sure more than you.

SAAB cars didn't have a logo until GM decided to slap one on there.

Nice that you have insight to all the contractual documents regarding the SAAB aquisition by GM...................i'm sure "there is a clause somewhere in there"
20:03 January 12, 2010 by AnatoleEric

The history of the SAAB logo. GM switched the place of the "SAAB" in the old SAAB Scania logo and put in beneath the griffin's head. Yeah, sure, GM really "designed" that logo alright.
20:30 January 12, 2010 by DaisyCutter
Whatever all the armchair experts seem to think and /or know about what Saab and GM have or have not achieved during their time together, whatever the actual details are regarding the sale or intention to sell, the bottom line is that Saab is a brand and a company that deserves to survive. Good brands that do things a little differently in today's homogenised world should be celebrated.

GM: set it free and give the company and its people a chance to be what it can be under a new owner. Anything is better than closure.

Give Saab a chance to succeed.
20:48 January 12, 2010 by mannorun
What a pitty!

Do not attach national pride to this because if the Swedish gov't wanted to safeguard this pride, they would have done something before now to save SAAB.

Hopefully we get to shut down this money losing brand asap!
21:15 January 12, 2010 by Scotsaab
It's becoming clearer by the minute that GM have no intention of allowing Saab to "escape" to a caring new owner. They plan to kill this wonderful marque off despite all the sensible suggestions put forward for its salvation.

This is what happens when you commit a small and iconic marque like Saab to a US/global giant and swallow the promises of "investment and growth" we heard 20 years ago.

They are cruelly playing with it like a cat does with a dying mouse. They obviously feel nothing for the workforce, it's support network, sub-contractors or loyal owners - as always -it's the Buck that rules.

Face it - the GM rule at Saab was a bleak chapter with what looks like a black ending. GM supporters should realise that GM may be the world's largest capitalised car manufacturer but ouitside the confines of the US they are deeply unpopular and mistrusted. Why? Because of situations like Saab. The Swedish marque is not the first to feel the cutting mismanaged sword of GM.

It will take the Chinese to finally put GM in its place - the ultimate giant killer.
21:17 January 12, 2010 by spy
To all you 'septics tanks': On the basis that your country's banks and car companies could not turn a profit if their lives depended on it and that they had to be bailed out to the tune of millions of dollars by the US government, at great cost to the American taxpayers, I find it wonderful that you are giving the Europeans some business advice. . . Perhaps you would like to give us all some advice on foreign policy too???
21:20 January 12, 2010 by lingonberrie
GANGSTER motors says everything.

Answering the comments from the American posters is the same as are trying to talk to a crocodile.

However, I did see a clip where a man had made

friends with a crocodile. He waded into the water by his home and splashed, and the croc came to him and came out of the water, and he stroked the croc and rubbed the crocs belly.

The big croc, at least 3 meters, was docile and never opened his/her jaws. Most amazing thing I have seen in years.

I would take my chances, on second thought, with the crocodile rather these American posters.
21:25 January 12, 2010 by California Saab Lover
The negative comments from Americans on this site do not reflect how most Americans feel about Saab Cars. We love Saabs in California. I take my hat off to all you workers at the factory for wanting to save the brand. It was neglected by visionless management at GM. Saab builds incredible cars and we like to buy them. Maybe not as many as Toyotas or Hondas but then again Saab represents a very cool alternative to those mega mass produced cars.

There has been almost no marketing of Saab in California but we still buy them and love to drive them. My 9-5 is the best car I have ever owned.

Please ignore those who speak of GM's virtues. They do not represent the true anger Americans feel towards GM for pushing big SUV's while shunning Saab. GM went bankrupt in June because of their lack of creativity and ecological wisdom. Saab has always been the auto icon of true individualistic deisgn and engineering.

Long Live Saab and all the good people who build this brand. Bravo to all of you in the Trollhatten factory, we are with you!
22:10 January 12, 2010 by davidmc
I agree California Saab Lover; but, I have to say that Honda and Toyota give the consumer the biggest bang-for-the-buck than any car manufacturer. If you can afford German engineering then go for it. I want to see Swedish Saab make it, but aren't Saab's for those wanting something that is a cut above the rest?
22:31 January 12, 2010 by MLRS9150
"The negative comments from Americans on this site do not reflect how most Americans feel about Saab Cars."

Good of you to speak for "most" of us.

There's a reason they call California the land of fruits and nuts. Get that budget out of a black hole yet? Didn't think so.

Anyway, Saab's time has past, and my Subaru and Honda run rings around their best. You can hate GM all you like, but Saab would have imploded even sooner without their capital infusion.

And to be honest, with the amount of anti-US (not anti-American, you boneheads) invective flying around here, it really doesn't bother me. I want GM to do what's best to get back their investment, and in Saab's case it means chopping it off like a cancerous appendage. Rumor has it pieces of it will be sold to China. Good for them.
23:08 January 12, 2010 by DaisyCutter
@ mannorun

I am glad you will find joy in seeing Saab close its doors, it's a 'pity' though if the commotion distracts you in any way from pulling the wings off insects or tormenting small animals.

And by the way, a government's questionable actions or indeed inaction does not preclude a person from national pride. Do you think all intelligent Americans abandoned their flag country when George Dubbel -Ya resided? I think not.
23:14 January 12, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
@ScotsSaab "It will take the Chinese to finally put GM in its place - the ultimate giant killer."

???? GM is the market leader in China with 13% of the market. Its sales there were up 68% in 2009.
23:30 January 12, 2010 by wxman
"Gangster Motors"? I like the sound of it! Especially since it's controlled by Obama Administration Chicago hoodlums and proud union thugs.
23:34 January 12, 2010 by Rick Methven

I know very well what the Gripen fighter is. I'm sure more than you.

SAAB cars didn't have a logo until GM decided to slap one on there.

How old are you you 10 or 15 max by your inane comments.

You know what the Gripen is better than who?

Ever flown one ?

I lay odds the only thing you have flown is your pathetic fantasies.

Go home little boy and play with yourself.

When you have learnt how to shave, come back and discuss with the big boys
23:43 January 12, 2010 by GLO
My friends, You Better Grow Up...You cant sell products people dont want for inflated prices...Even if your Govt pays for it thru subsidys... Protected salarys and benefits kill companys in Sweden and the USA.... Get REAL or sit on your #$%^ and watch the World pass you .... Stop pointing your finger at others, that wont sell today...
23:45 January 12, 2010 by rgsmo
quite right .. "gangster motors"..

they have stolen the value produced by swedish workers and financed the fancy lifes of american speculators. that is the story. and there is no way out, but fighting for their rights for working class.
00:29 January 13, 2010 by California Saab Lover
@ MLRS9150

You must be a visionary type yourself. You might even be one of GM's management masquerading as an intelligent person for all I know.

Your Honda was probably designed in California, a state that didn't become the world's 8th largest economy by generating hateful rhetoric. Come to think of it, why are you driving a Honda and Subaru when you should be a proud owner of a Buick Regal or a Chevy Cruze?

Clearly your insightful advice could inform the likes of Mueller, Koenigsegg, and Formula-1's Ecclestone who don't yet grasp the tremendous wisdom and value in destroying an incredible company like SAAB.

You are right I don't speak for you but then again you don't speak very well for yourself either.
00:29 January 13, 2010 by anticommie
Look at all the crying communist in here, I say shut the doors and bring the American money back home. Swedish cars suck anyway, always have always will. Once sony takes its stuff home will there be any jobs left in that sh1thole?
00:58 January 13, 2010 by Scotsaab
@ EtioleBrilliant

You miss the point. GM bought its way into China using it's admittedly powerful position. It will not last. In any event GM's share is just that - a share with major Chinese concerns. The Chinese will, quite rightly, take control of their own motor industry - anyone who knows the market there can see it happening already.

GM spotted an early opportunity and exploited it. Good for them.

Had they invested the same care in Saab it would not be in thwe position it is now.

If GM had really wanted to save Saab and genuinely were concerned about its "losses", it could have plugged the leak years ago. Dear Lord, they're had the firm for 20 years. How slow do you have to be to run the world's second largest capitalised motor business?

If GM were honest they would admit to using Saab as a convenient tax loss for years - quite legitimate, but wrong.

They has plenty of opportunity to sell it off to a willing buyer several years ago and did not do so.

But let's cut the vitriol and sniping in this blog and concentrate on finding a positive solution for Saab - out of GM's hands that will allow both parties to get on with what they believe they individually do best.
03:02 January 13, 2010 by MD1
I can understand the anger from many of the comments I have read. However, it does not seem to be productive to make single, provoking comments whihc then another person simply provides one back. I think posting comments that try and reason exactly why GM does not appear to be interested in selling SAAB would be more productive. I think many people would prefer insightful thoughts into the the specific focus of the article, the life of SAAB, as opposed to people simply saying, "America will fall" or "Swedes are communists."
03:22 January 13, 2010 by Davey-jo
I can't see the attraction to wanting to build cars that aren't selling. You live in a capitalist system and the bottom line is God. No profit no job. You can't blame GM; if GM could scrape a dollar from Sweden GM would be over you like a warm blanket.

The impression I get is that GM have kept Saab going for too long and it should have shut down long ago. A bit like the UK motor industry. Out of date; too small a market; no profit. It's a no brainer.

The problem now is what to do with all those skilled and semi-skilled workers whose livliehoods are about to be ruined. There must be some useful work for these people; Sweden is not so rich it can just dump them on the unemployment heap and forget them like the UK did. That way leads to great social upheaval that Sweden and no country can withstand. Take a lesson from UK and don't go down that route.
03:31 January 13, 2010 by MichelB
I am a canadian working at IKEA. First let the record straight. Yes IKEA's founder live in Switzerland, Yes the foundation that manage IKEA is in the Netherland. But all operation, decision and testing are coming from Sweden. They are promoting Sweden and swed's products. There's even products made in Sweden.

I think that GM (General Mess) made nice SAAB cars (900, 9000, 9-3, 9-5 and 9x) except for the Saabaru 9-2x and the Saamerican 9-7. But GM (Garbage Mind) killed SAAB's innovation. Only recently with the 9x, SAAB' s produced their most innovative car.

I own a NG900 SAAB and I love it. There is something about this car that I can't explain. The driving, handling , look and feeling make all others cars boring and dull. It may be not a luxury car neither a high end technological car with all the bells and whistles but I am proud of my car and it has a terrific look.

It is different. It is me!

Volvo sold to Ford then to the Chinese. How can you explain that? Global economy. The locals lost control of a genuine swede company. Samething is happening with SAAB now. It happened with Land Rover and Jaguar. French buying Nissan. This is how it's working now in the global economy market.

All I wish, is that SAAB's will survive and thrive whoever is the owner. Also, that SAAB's will be a leader in innovation like it was sometime ago and finally that all the SAAB's workers keep their job.
03:51 January 13, 2010 by California Saab Lover
I don't belive that SAAB cars are out of date or that the Swedish auto industry builds cars for a market that is too small Volvos and Saabs are highly coveted cars and the Chinese know this too. The strenth in these cars is their quality, safety, and unique styling.

As an anology, Apple computers had a very small almost non existent market share when it was taken over by a board of directors that ousted Steven Jobs the main force behind that company's innovative edge. The new leadership ran Apple like GM ran Saab, without much investment in what those companies do best which is to innovate and build products for a small but discerning market. Apple gained market share by being a leader in new ideas for the industry.

I believe that Saab has had that edge for decades but GM tried to standardize and regularize the iconoclastic auto maker. Saab needs a Muller, or Koenigsegg, or Ecclestone to breath new life and ideas into the company. The skilled auto workers at Saab can then do what they do best which is to build great cars. GM just needs to have faith that one of these bidders can pull it off, and let the company go to the best bidder.

Innovative spirit and progressive thinking are characteristics Swedes share with Californians.
04:33 January 13, 2010 by JoeSwede
I take my hat off to the Saab workers. They have worked for most of their lives putting together interesting cars. I had a Saab.

The one questions I have is.... where are the auto crazed Swedish workers of the future? Maybe there is a view out there that there is no future...that is the sad part. Hopefully there is something better out there for Sweden.
06:45 January 13, 2010 by Decedo
Let's face it, Saab is over. Had a chat with a few former employees and the company has been in allot of trouble for a long time, more than the public knows. I say let Darwinian law run it's course.
07:03 January 13, 2010 by podga
If you're a large company, I think it's becoming case of damned if you do, damned if you don't, no matter what your nationality. To survive, you need funds, and you get funds from the stock market. The main investors in stocks are other large companies (e.g. pension funds, insurance funds) who act on the basis of advice of other large companies (e.g. S&P, Moody's). Long term strategy? Well, OK, but only so long as you're producing an enormous profit in the short term, as well, otherwise your investors move on, your company valuation drops to nothing, and you can't perform your long term strategy anyway. Companies get downgraded right and left, not for making a loss, but for not making as large a profit as analysts would have liked.

Love it or leave it, GM operates in that margin. Of course they produced big gas guzzlers. Why not? After all, Americans (and not only) were buying them all and clamoring for more! If they'd produced small cars in the US two years ago, analyst and markets would have punished them for producing something nobody wanted. If they dared discuss pension funds or not increasing wages, UAW walked out - heck, even stopping workers from smoking on the production line was a major issue. And as is now all too painfully obvious, while everybody wants GM to be more efficient or better, or to cut costs, what they really mean is, "Do so, but not in a way that will negatively affect ME. Close the factory and lay off workers in another state/country, not MINE. Squeeze the margins on the Chinese supplier, not the European one. You're running too many brands, but wind down the one I don't like."

Too big too fail? Sometimes I think that these days it's a case of being too big to succeed, and the company that seems to be doing everything right today might be reviled tomorrow, through no fault of its own.
07:40 January 13, 2010 by Iraniboy

That's wrong. ABB is not owned by Swedes either but it doesn't mean that it's not profitable nor in crisis. That's thw way it is. Someone bids someone buys!! No string is attached!
08:44 January 13, 2010 by spy
California Saab Lover

You hit the nail on the head, and certainly we are seeing some GM emplolyees on TL cynically trying to move public opinion... Even on this site there is a public backlash, just wait and see what happens if Saab closes.

Anyway GM is broken, they have had 3 CEOs in a year a complete change in management, a name change, billions of dollars pumped into it from the US taxpayer and they still can't sell a company that everyone wants to buy - this is just Old GM.
10:59 January 13, 2010 by tillerman

ABB was created through the merger of of the Swedish company ASEA and the Swiss firm BBC Brown Boveri (Brown, Boveri & Cie). It is listed on the Stockholm exchange (among others) and touts itselfs as a Swedish-Swiss company.
12:05 January 13, 2010 by rumcajs

"Swedish cars suck anyway, always have always will." Dude, I've been dealing with cars from before you could even go to the toilet without your mama and I'm fed up of know-nothing, talk much people like you since this topic started (and for some reason, they also happen to be utra-right fanatics that see communism everywhere).

Swedish cars are very good quality, they give you the same or less trouble than most of American and other European cars and you can check it in any pro. source,... not with your doctor or your dentist. The only ones that in general may offer the same quality are some Japanese.

And about "I say shut the doors and bring the American money back home".... GM is the biggest crap in car industry. They took the disigns from the Opel Astra, Corsa and many others and sell them as Chevrolets ( yes, Chevrolet Astra, etc. ) in South American countries for the money you can buy a BMW in Europe; the only good quality Chevrolets in the world, cos they are in fact Opel. Now Opel is said to be a trouble company and all the glory to Chevrolet. No wander why some people say that the new Saab 9-5 might become a Buick. Yeah, take your American money back home after you send that other German lot to Germany.

Ah, before you start p**ing outside the toilet.... I am NOT communist.
13:34 January 13, 2010 by americanska
Good to see the anti US/anti capitalism boys have gone back to what they are good at. Calling people names - nice.

And Rick Methven, I don't really care if you've flown a SAAB Gripen. But I doubt you have.

SAAB Aerospace is a quality company (that understands they need mostly US suppliers for naviation/com/ and targeting to stay competitive with the Gripen NG).

SAAB Automobile is just not a viable company - simple as that.

Question for anyone with any real knowlege. When GM winds down SAAB, will they still own the rights to the SAAB logo. Could they not sell that at a later time to a specialty car company?
17:03 January 13, 2010 by muda
GM is winding down SAAB with the hope that it will be rescued with a big buck. Whoever rescues SAAB other than Swedish will see the history will repeat itself in the future. It is expected in free market where welfare, nationalism do not play any role anymore. What is important is bottom line. I wonder whether SAAB will be wounded up or not if the owner is Swedish. I believe it is not due to pride and nationalism.
18:02 January 13, 2010 by spy

When you say call Europeans who dissagree with you 'the anti US/anti capitalism boys' you obviously haven't a great idea of what capitalism is. You are probably too thick to understand that the US has effectively nationalised GM which is far more akin to socialist/communist policy.

Personally I am not anti American - I just can't abide stupid outspoken people and you happen to be extremely stupid and outspoken.
22:20 January 13, 2010 by moaca
Its all about the profit people. SAAB started out in the aero sector and their engineers designed the first car with a turbo I believe, This sort of propelled the small car branch from relatively unknown outside of Sweden. Once they started selling abroad as well (it was a bit of a status symbol in Europe to own a SAAB) the brand became more interesting for buyers. Back in the day they were way ahead of the competition with cars being safety tested and reliable. I dont really know the reason for selling the brand, but common sense would say MONEY!!

Amerikans are not interested in saving a company making huge losses, so I dont believe for a second that they were good samaritans saving SAAB. They saw an opportunity to take a brand over in order to make even more profits and extend the power of GM. That this has not happened is not something you can blame the Swedes for. And as far as the owner of IKEA goes, last I heard he lives and has his home somewhere in Småland, Sweden. But I cant blame him for having more then 1 house as he is one of the richest people on the planet. He was definately in the top 10 richest last year. He is getting rather old now but is still involved in his brainchild and still expanding. Sweden is a relatively small country people wise, with under 10 miljon inhabitants. So now with the credit crunch we still do have our sense of pride and obviously we do hope that SAAB comes back home.

But this is wishful thinking as GM has made their mind up. They are not bound to put their cards on the table and have made their decision long time ago. And I am confident it has to do with MONEY! no company nowadays is interested in trying to keep the economy going and providing jobs and taking a little bit less profits. Lord forbid that the share holders get less profit on their shares, so that thousands of people can keep their jobs and so on the long term keep the economy going.

No, it is more important that the lucky few get their corporate bonuses and that some share holders make profits.

That is unfortunately reality today, and also the reason why most companies divert to asia. Cheap labour on the long run will undermine all western economies. At least IKEA's boss has the common sense to make sure his products will be made in Sweden, providing the local people with much needed work.

My respect to the man, at least he hasnt forgotten his roots! With capitalism comes a responsibility that most company chose to ignore for the mighty dollar.
01:24 January 14, 2010 by bezjaj
Its obvious foul play behind this affair. The question is how much Merkel paid to get rid of SAAB. Once again the Swedes shows what Germas mean with Der dummen Szweden...
01:49 January 14, 2010 by repat_xpat
Looks like nothing has changed at the factory in Trollhattan. Instead of working they are spitting in the face of their employer. Maybe this is whey the Trollhattan factory is the least efficient GM factory in the world (notice I said least efficient, not highest paid).

Remember my post from last month? GM sent a factory leader to SAAB several years ago to help it become productive. He identified over 20 key areas where SAAB needed to make changes. SAAB sent him home with his tail between his legs and the leadership at SAAB considered it a victory. The union and managers at SAAB won that battle, but lost the war.

It really is over at SAAB. Sad, there are a lot of good workers and engineers at SAAB, but it's leadership and work culture has made it incapable of success.

I hope others will benefit and learn from the SAAB story. The lesson is not that GM is bad, SAAB is good. The lesson is that hard work is important and that when you make fika more important deliveries, you are putting your job on the line.
02:00 January 14, 2010 by Lon Ernwall
Have you ever had a dog bark at you with it's tail between it's legs? This chicken s---t anticomie reminds me of this type of dog........
08:12 January 14, 2010 by aaronh21
Maybe if SAAB gets a new owner (which I hope it does) they can rekindle the sparkle that made SAAB cars great. You look at any SAAB and they are a timeless design if SAAB dies it will be a sad day for the automotive society. And lets not forget the 3000+ people who will be out of a job. Good luck SAAB.
10:31 January 14, 2010 by geronimoIII
Merely market conditions at work here...all dollars and cents. Look at Detroit. There is no room in corporations for feelings these days. When the manufacturing sector fails so do societies. The paradigm of the West has changed. Time to either reinvent or face the consequences. It may be too late.
19:27 January 14, 2010 by Detroit-SAAB
The true bottom line here is that The American government gave GM loans and a free ride Trip thru Bankruptcy court to save the company and save jobs. SAAB is part of that company.

If there is a reasonable offer for SAAB then it should be sold and the money used to pay back to the American Government . I am on my 3rd SAAB automobile and they have all been outstanding... better than any pile of GM rubbish I have owned in the past ( I have owned 8 other GM prouducts besides my SAABS ) . The workers in sweden want to keep going, there are 3 bidders as I understand it that want to save SAAB.. The right thing to do is sell it. Closing SAAB is a smack in the face to the American goverment, American tax payers, The Swedish government, and The Fine workers at SAAB that make some of the best cars on the planet. Who's time has past is GM.. they are never going to be the big powerhouse they once were, the party is over and it is GM that needs to wake up, not the fine folks in Sweden.
20:06 January 14, 2010 by volvoman9
I find it interesting that these posters anticommie and amerkanska have few replies when challenged. It the same the world over; bullies are idiots and cowards when challenged.
20:44 January 14, 2010 by spy
volvoman9 and Detroit-SAAB

I agree totally..
02:19 January 16, 2010 by harrylatour
As an English car 'nut' of 70 years,,,please let me give a few words truth regarding this Saab debate. Never give up all of your vehicle industries (look at what the Chinese finally did to some of ours) and remember that big things are coming along,,only idiots believe that we are all going to get on a buss to save the planet!!No,,,as Renault have proved by taking over Nissan and being in the forefront of EV design this is where the next big bucks will be earned!!And get this lads,,,if you don't have your own cutting edge car industry the Chinese will sell us all the EV's we want instead,,,,and our European technical base will erode over time and we will be second rate in engineering.Look at my UK and learn to hang on to your industries before it is too late!!!

Harry Latour
22:35 January 17, 2010 by Da Goat
I would guess that given the name SAAB that SAAB aerospace would be the default of the 3 company's as parent and trademark holder for the name of SAAB so could simply revoke licencing of the name and kick out GM but sorry you have sold everything else that the car company designed and owned .

I agree the brand needs to be sold (or resumed) and any money sent back to the bail-out tax payers.

as for the workers and the hard ware who wants to buy them maybe they can just continue on/ start again from scratch
22:45 January 24, 2010 by Minnesota NyViking
Welcome to the New World Order, as it destroys economies, jobs, savings and robs from the Taxpayers. In addition, in the US, the banksters in cahoots with the Federal Reserve Bank have robbed the American people of trillions of dollars with bailouts and stimulus payments to the bankster/industrial mafia.

In addition, the war on Terror is a total lie and farce. They have indebted the US with additional debts of trillions of dollars on a phoney war, based on lies, chasing spooks hiding out in caves in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These banksters have done more damage to the US economy then Osama Bin Laden ever dreamed of. Besides Osama, Al Queda and the Taliban have no Air Force and No Navy...just a bunch of donkeys and rusty Toyotas to get around it. What a joke

Does anyone really believe our governments anymore here in the US or in Europe anymore???

It would have been better to just sell GM and SAAB to the highest bidder and start afresh. But this is no longer about free markets, but about "cronism" and bailing out the elite.
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