Students in year 2 from Västerås' ABB Industri high school.
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Students in year 2 from Västerås' ABB Industri high school. Credit: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden
Professor Erik Dahlquist believes Västerås' economy is very stable.
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Professor Erik Dahlquist believes Västerås' economy is very stable. Credit: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden

How a robot-making company dominates a Swedish city

5:00 min

In Västerås, the engineering company ABB employs about 4,000 people, not including side businesses, so what happens to the town if this giant takes a tumble?

The company got its start in Västerås and makes many things but it's mostly known for its robotics and heavy electrical equipment.

Recently, business has been good with profits of more than half a billion US dollars in the third quarter. And growth is expected to continue.

But times haven't always been so bright. At the turn of the millennium, the company was close to bankruptcy - saddled with heavy financial debts and on the hook for cleaning up asbestos insulated equipment in the US.

It's stock tumbled and people were worried. ABB bounced back but is Västerås economically vulnerable when it has a big employer like ABB?

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