IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An increasing number of people ask "why?"

Vladimir Antonov who is eager to become part owner of Saab has been approved by both Sweden's National Debt Office and by General Motors. But the Sweden's Government and the European Investment Bank are avoiding making their decision, and thus effectively putting Saab and its suppliers and 6,800 employees in the Sweden's car industry in a position of great uncertainty about the future.

But now an increasing number of people in public positions are asking "why?". Why does not Antonov get approved? Why is the decision about Antonov not being taken? Why doesn't the Government do anything to help Saab?

Veli-Pekka Säikkälä, the union IF Metall:
"The Government has been extremely passive throughout Saab deal. They must send out the signal that anyone who wants to invest in the auto industry should feel confident that there is a Government that cares about the automotive industry. If they don't approve him [Antonov], then they have to tell us why"

Paul Åkerlund, Mayor of the Trollhattan municipality:
"Antonov has been ready for two months. The National Debt Office says he is clean, but the Government has refused to deal with the issue for some reason. It is very strange that the Government does not allow to bring in venture capital."

Per Bränneby, leader of the union of academics/Sweden's engineers at Saab:
"It would be good if Antonov could be approved and if the Government would push the issue. I do not know what is really the catch."

Svante Säwén, political editor
"The conservatives total perplexity leads to administrative barriers against willing investors who may be more devastating to the car company than the Government's constant attempts to talk down not only the Saab brand but also the industry's importance to our country."

Ulf Johansson, worker at Saab for 27 years:
"I and many others feel that the Government has acted horribly lame on this issue, rather sabotaging with the statements they make. It seems that they do not want any car industry in Sweden."

Johan Trouvé, CEO Chamber of Commerce in Western-Sweden:
"GM has approved Antonov. The National Debt Office has approved Antonov. But the Government holds up. Why is the question I would like a reply on from the Government."

Eric Geers, Executive Director of Communication at Saab:
"The National Debt Office gave its approval as early as 28 April. Even GM has said yes, so now the Government can not blame GM. It seems that he [Prime Minister Reinfeldt] has no idea what he's talking about."

Bo Lundgren, CEO of the National Debt Office, when asked why Antonov hasn't been approved yet:
"I, too would like to know why!"

Alrik Söderlind, Chief editor of Auto Motor Sport:
"The Government's decision on Antonov should have been taken long time ago. Let us hope that the Government's slowness does not kill Saab."

Håkan Juholt, party leader of the Social democrats, on how the Government refuse to take a decision on Antonov:
"A responsible Government acts quickly, wisely and with a steady hand when a crises that affect tens of thousands of jobs arise. It can not blame everybody else".

Robert Collin, automotive writer for Aftonbladet:
"Financier Vladimir Antonov has injected hundreds of millions into Saab, despite the Swedish Government's reluctancy against him. Maud Olofsson, Anders Borg and Fredrik Reinfeldt will not let him be part of the Swedish business life. They do not want the Russians in Trollhättan."

Stefan Löfven, leader of the union IF Metall:
"The National Debt Office, the Swedish Government and GM must now act constructively and the Government must assume a coordinating role. It is required when dealing with a business that is so important for Sweden."

Sven-Åke Berglie, CEO of the association of Swedish automotive suppliers:
"The Government should handle the issue, and not wait for the European Invesment Bank".