Economy

Speculation over Saab's Future Continues

Swedish news headlines continue to be dominated by speculation over the American-owned Swedish car manufacturer Saab – after the announcement that the small Swedish sports-car maker, Koeniggsegg, has pulled out of the take-over negotiations because of the many delays in the complicated negotiations.

 Some predict that a now stronger General Motors may not sell Saab after all, others that an interested Chinese company might remain in the negotiations – while still others both in Sweden and in the United States predict that Saab has no future and that poor car sales can’t be reversed.

   

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt publically blames  Koeniggesegg for the turmoil – insisting they wasted valuable time by claiming that they could swing the complicated deal.

Asked by national Swedish national radio news, the prime minister maintains that his center-right government can’t do mvery much – and that if a giant car manufactuer can not save Saab, then there is little that a little part of General Motors or the Sweden government can co.

The government  has earlier stated it will not place tax-payers money into the troubled car industry, but has been heavily criticized by those demanding that the state save jobs in these times of high unemployment, noting that parliamentary  elections are only 10 months away.

Meanwhile, Swedish car-parts suppliers to Saab say they will no longer give the economically-troubled Saab credit – producing what some say will be a downward spiral affect which threatens thousands of jobs both in Saab, in the supporting industry and in the entire Western Swedish community.

Speaking to the news agency TT, Christian von Koenigsegg, CEO of Koenigsegg Group, said that they had put the 30th of November as an absolute final deadline and that "we found today that there is no chance for the deal to be done before then. And after that, we do not dare to believe in the plan, too much time has passed."

The CEO adds that he does not want to point fingers at anyone for causing this to fail. He only says "it is an increadibly complicated process".

Saabs CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson expresses deep disappointment at the decision, also referring to the very complicated process involving not only Koenigsegg Group and GM, but also Beijing Automotive, the European Investment Bank, the Swedish Government, the Swedish National Debt Office and the European Commission. "Koenigsegg has not managed to gather this group of different interested parties to solve the issues within a reasonable time frame".

General Motors announces that it will analyse the situation and present its conclusions next week. Speaking to Swedish Radio News the company adds that there are no other prospective buyers, and that the future for Saab "seems dark".

The Swedish government's senior civil servant at the department for Trade and Energy, Jöran Hägglund, regrets "very much" the news and the fact that it comes at such a late stage. He has told Saab workers that it is too early to say that all hope is gone.