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No news from Saab as worker discontent mounts

TT/The Local/dl · 1 Aug 2011, 17:42

Published: 01 Aug 2011 17:42 GMT+02:00

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“There is a steady stream and, by my estimates, we've received support from 500 members,” Pernilla Laurin from labour group Unionen told the TT news agency.

“Most of them still have hope, but many say the Saab-spirit is gone.”

Last Thursday, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that the loan it granted to Saab's research and development programme in 2009 was given on the condition that Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov not take an ownership stake in the company.

But on Monday the EIB clarified that the question of Saab's future is very much alive and that a great deal of effort is ongoing to save the cash-strapped Swedish automaker.

“The EIB continues its work to find a solution for Saab which will be accepted by all parties and which was paves the way for new investors in Saab,” EIB spokersperson Pär Isaksson told TT, adding that officials from Saab and the Swedish government are also participating in efforts to save Saab.

While Isaksson declined to name any specific investors, he said that there are “several” who are ready to invest.

Story continues below…

A solution which would be welcomed by the EIB according too Isaksson would be if Saab paid back its EIB loan, which would then alter the conditions for who could take an ownership stake in the company.

However, Isaksson was unable on Monday to provide any details about when the EIB would be able to provide any information about a potential solution, saying only that Saab has submitted a number of suggested changes which are currently under review.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:28 August 1, 2011 by CurtInFalcon
The EIB and the Swedish government will have to move quickly to save Saab. They need to approve the new investors now. Within a few weeks Saab will be bankrupt.
21:45 August 1, 2011 by spy
My heart goes out to the employees and suppliers - I hope they get paid soon.
03:28 August 2, 2011 by repat_xpat
The American ISP who recommended some 20 + productivity improvements at SAAB in the mid 2000's was ridiculed and sent home in shame. I wonder if the SAAB workers look back at those recommendations and consider whether the recommendations might have been preferable than the results of not implementing them.
09:00 August 2, 2011 by spy

More likely they look back at the woeful lack of product investment from the buffoons in Detroit (incidentally you were that ISP weren't you.... Must have been tough to be ridiculed in your own language).
10:22 August 2, 2011 by Eagle63
Someday we're gonna realize how special Saabs were, how unlikely even that Saab ever existed. In the future, when our western civilization has declined even further and we are all driving in boring electric cars, we will think back in amazement and wonder 'was there really a place for this different, intelligent and individualistic car brand called Saab?' Maybe you can tell your grandchildren (if you succeed in pulling them away from their smartphones for just a moment...) about those good ol' days, back when we could fly to the US in just over 3 hours on another unique vehicle called 'Concorde', and yes, for a brief moment in history mankind was even able to travel to the Moon and back.... all gone, history... It seems all we do nowadays is trying hopelessly to solve the problems of an overpopulated world that is slowly but surely declining into some sort of mindless mediocrity...
16:39 August 2, 2011 by BillyB

Why do you think Saab is so special?

and why do you think anyone will care once they have gone?

asking in genuine curiosity
02:17 August 3, 2011 by Eagle63
@ BillyB

Because Saab is one of the few cars that has a 'soul'. Surely GM has degraded that to a certain extent, but especially in the older vehicles you can sense that this car and its designers were different. As a pilot I can see similarities with the way aircraft are designed; like the timeless design of the 9000 dashboard; simply superb, especially compared to the often infantile dashboard designs of many mass-market cars who's only aim is to attract people that are 'cool and trendy' instead of 'ergonomic and professional'.

The fact that tens of thousands of people all over the world joined convoys and other activities recently to support Saab answers your 2nd question.
22:59 August 3, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@ Rick Metheven, or something similar. Who cares.

You are not in this thread, but your "comment" and accompanying insult published in the MacDonalds thread, obliges me to put you in order in relation to who is the owner of Saab autos.

Swedish Automobile, the Dutch firm which owns beleaguered automaker Saab, said Wednesday it was issuing new shares and should be able to pay some of its workers this week for the month of July.

"Swedish Automobile announces today that it issued a subscription notice for five million shares under the current 150-million-euro equity facility between Swan and GEM Global Yield Fund Limited" an investment fund which already has a stake in the company, it said in a statement.

According to company's share price in early trading on the Amsterdam stock exchange, the sale would generate about 6.4 million euros ($9.2 million).

Saab, which is facing a mounting liquidity crisis and bankruptcy threats, added it the statement it expected to be able to pay the salaries of some 1,600 staff for July.

Company spokesman Eric Geers told the TT news agency the cash from the share emission would come in "early enough so we can pay ... workers this week."

Swedish Automobile said it was working on a solution to find more short-term funding that could allow it to "restart and sustain production," which has been halted on and off since April.


Iconic Swedish brand Saab was saved at the last minute at the beginning of 2010 when it was bought by small Dutch firm Spyker -- now known as Swedish Automobile -- from US giant GM

So, Spyker bought the Swedish brand Saab and became Swedish Automobile, from the previous owner, US giant General Motors.

So tricky Ricky: Shall we start from scratch? or your next comment will be: "Belmar: How can u say that Coca-Cola ingredient was discover in the United States. Everybody knows that it is a Swedish discovery.".

The new owner had big ambitions for Saab but the carmaker has since then lurched from one cash crisis to another.

At the end of July, Saab had 3,700 employees.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 03 August 2011 15:44)

Be my guest!
02:12 August 4, 2011 by repat_xpat
Hi Spy,

Glad you're still keeping in touch.

SAAB was a wing of GM-Europe. Operational funding decisions were primarily made by SAAB leadership and approved by Opel, not Detroit. SAAB would have been in a better position to negotiate more funding had their operations yielded a profit. You can understand why our friends in Germany were hesitant to provide additional investment while their ROI was almost always negative.

Good guess that I was the ISP who's recommendations were not accepted, but I wasn't. I heard of this ISP when I first joined SAAB. A senior director at SAAB engineering confided in me the story of this ISP. He shared this information with me as a warning not to try to change the culture at SAAB. I would have had a more pleasant time at SAAB had I yielded to his advice, but I would have been less productive. If given a second chance, I would take his advice. I liked the people I worked in Trollhattan and the extra stress of forcing egalitarian Swedes to conform to a hierarchical process doesn't seem to add value; however, the truth is If I were do to it again, I would have sent that work to Germany.
08:22 August 4, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
My first car in Sweden was a 1974 model. I loved my little red rat, as I called it and it was faithful to me for years and years, until finally it was time to give it a royal burial. A well deserved royal burial, I should say.
17:34 August 4, 2011 by spy

You must lead a rather unfulfilled life if you feel the need to visit a forum set up for expats in Sweden to bash your previous employer, with mainly unsubstantiated claims. Why don't you go and get a proper job and channel your efforts into something positive?
23:17 August 5, 2011 by wxman
Worker discontent is a humorous concept. When faced with losing your job, the obvious answer is to revolt and complain further! I love it. People across the globe, in every country think they actually have a RIGHT to a job. Blows me away.
15:56 August 6, 2011 by repat_xpat

What brings you to this site?
18:58 August 6, 2011 by spy
Great journalism and clever people like you.
03:50 August 7, 2011 by repat_xpat
Glad to satisfy your pallet.
20:54 August 7, 2011 by spy
The correct word is palate not 'pallet' you muppet.
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