Spyker can’t change its name to Saab

Swedish defence contractor Saab AB doesn't want Spyker Cars, owner of the similarly named Swedish automaker, to have Saab in its new name. Meanwhile, Saab assembly lines remain idle amid continued negotiations with suppliers.

Spyker can't change its name to Saab

Spyker’s name change plans came about following the sale its high-end sports car manufacturing business synonymous with the Dutch carmaker.

In February, Spyker announced it was selling its sports car business to a UK-based company controlled by Russian financier Vladimir Antanov in order to focus solely on developing Saab Autombile, which was purchased by Spyker in February 2010.

Spyker has since indicated it wants to change its name to something that more reflects its new focus, but Swedish defence contractor Saab AB remained cool to the idea of Spyker using ‘Saab’ in its new name.

Instead, Spyker plans to vote to change its name to Swedish Automobile at its upcoming annual meeting, scheduled for May 19th, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

“The reason is that we haven’t been able to reach an agreement with Saab AB yet,” Spyker CEO Victor Muller told the TT news agency on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Saab’s factory in Trollhättan remains idle as the company continues to negotiate with suppliers over late payments.

According to Svenåke Berglie, chair of Fordonskomponentgruppen (FKG), a trade association representing Scandinavian auto industry suppliers, there are between five and ten suppliers which haven’t been paid and which have thus halted deliveries.

“The debts are surely up over 30 million kronor ($4.7 million),” he told TT.

Saab is now in a dialogue with the suppliers about a possible resolution to the matter. But Berglie doesn’t have much faith in repayment plans or other measures.

“Most of them are also under pressure and need to be paid in full at the right time. They also have things they need to pay for,” he said.

He added that it was appropriate for Saab to halt production until it had worked out its current cashflow problems.

However, he cautioned that production had better start up again next week.

“Otherwise I think it would harm the market and besides it costs a lot to keep a factory idle,” he said.

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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.