Swedish Reactions to Saab Shutdown

Updated 15:23

After months of uncertainty, GM has finally come with its decision: Saab will be shut down. The reaction in Sweden was immediate.

“It is very, very depressing. A very sad message for all employees and it comes at the worst possible time,” enterprise minister Maud Olofsson told news wire TT.

But Olofsson insists that the state will not dig into its coffers to save Saab. “We don’t have the expertise and we don’t have the money,” she said.

The Green Party has called the government’s actions a failure. “When there was a possibility to contribute to finding a long-term owner, they decided to lie low and not do anything. When Olofsson finally engaged herself in the issue, it was too late,” party spokesman Peter Eriksson wrote in a press release.

Upwards of 8,000 jobs can disappear when Saab is wound down. About 3,500 people are directly employed by Saab, while thousands more will be affected indirectly in their roles as subcontractors and suppliers.

Håkan Johansson, who constructs car bodies at Saab in Trollhättan, was crushed by the news.

“This wasn't the best Christmas present. It honestly feels bloody awful," he told Swedish Radio News. "We were just starting to develop new models, we were just about to build the body. It’s hard to take it all in.”