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Employment status for ex-saab employees

March 1, 2012 in News

For the former employees of Saab life is to say the least tough, with almost no jobs available it is extremely difficult to find new work. The most attractive offer so far is to work in the mines in the very north of Sweden, perhaps not the most hospitable environment but a job is a job. So far about 380 white-collars have found new work, some of them in the auto-industry. These are in the ages of 40-49 years old however for the blue-collars things are a lot worse where only about 100 people out of 1400 have found new employers. Still about 1000 white-collars remain unemployed.

Some big issues are facing those who are offered jobs however since most employers are located more than a 1,5 hour drive away from Trollhättan and with todays gasoline prices, commuting is not really an option. Selling ones house in Trollhättan today is absolutely impossible and with house prices dropping fast it is becoming even more difficult considering that most families have loans on their hoses and can not allow to sell a house below the borrowed amount.

Secondary effects are also starting to show where service branches such as restaurants and shops have started to lay off people in and around the area of Trollhättan. People who had nothing to do with Saab are now coming face to face with the consequences of the factory closing down. I have talked to a number of store managers and times are usually pretty rough at this point but winter sales were much lower than normal this year. There wasn’t a lack of people but extremely few actually bought something and those who did bought cheeper gifts than normal which seriously decreased the profit margin for the stores, now many of the stores are faced with cutting back or even closing down.

– The situation isn’t good and its not looking very bright at the moment, I only have reserves for a few months and this thing could very well take up to a year or more to resolve, said a store owner who wants to remain anonymous.

It is very clear that people have seriously cut back on spending in the last months and will probably live on minimum spending for a significant time in the future. A good source told me a few months ago that he had studied the effects of major industries closing down on smaller cities in Sweden. The worst time didn’t come just after the closure, it came 3-6 months afterwards, when unemployment aid was started to be cut back and people received even less money per month. Due to the high unemployment status in the cities it was impossible to sell property and move on…

A new buyer for Saab is not only saving the former employees of Saab but also a lot of other people who were depending upon the Saab employees spending their money…


27 responses to Employment status for ex-saab employees

  1. That’s why it is important that someone buys Saab as whole as quickly as possible.

    • Ohhh the agony of waiting for an answer. No timetable from the recivers, but they sayd end February before. Shouldn’t be to much more time then? Tommorow? Next Week? I wanna know now!!! :-/

    • Who should do that without a product to produce and sell? Have you missed GM statement last week? I also want to tell all guys that think you can change a powertrain installation in todays Saab 9-3 in a couple of mounths, wake up we are talking about 2-3 years to do that. I’m a former Saab employee and hopes of course that it will come something good out of this mess, but to really belive that Saab should return is very very optimistic and for me almost impossible. Be realistic and hope for something else to start and produce in Trollhattan.

      • Right now I think a manufacturer simply moving in to the facrory and building their own cars (BMW,MINI?) would be a blessing to the town.

        I keep my fingers crossed for a good result, whatever shape it may take.

      • That Saabs will be produced during 2012 or even 2013 is maybe close to zero likelihood, but isn’t it fully possible that the brand survives if we get a strong owner within the automotive industry?

  2. All I can say is you need a support network, and the larger the better. Good luck.

  3. Sounds like just what’s happening in the US right now. Businesses are closing all over the place. People are unemployed and 49million are on food stamps. God we need change, badly.

  4. Dealers are moving on. I’d assign about a .0001 percent chance of Saab actually being bought as a whole unit and vehicles with Saab badges being produced again.
    It’s incredibly sad to admit but holding our breath for something to happen is not realistic for any dealer (particularly stand-alone). We will be moving on or closing down.
    There’s been no audit of the dealer body by the receivers to know how many dealers are still intact or operating. Shouldn’t that be a big component of selling the brand as a whole unit? Surely that has to be a relevant component.
    All signs are leading to the end, sadly.

  5. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not at all a communist, but would it not be possible to restart the company as a governmental industry that builds for a limited time licensed cars from another car manufacture (think abozt the Saab 9-2X that I did not believe was the worst Saab ever build but probably the most underestimated one). I know, it’s a “must not” but special times need special ideas. Sweden is a very social country, so does it make sense to pay all the unemployed works and accept all the collateral damage in and around Trollhätten instead of put the money (and more) to restart it….
    As I said, special times, need special (visionary) ideas…

    • What ever you produce you need to start with an idea of a market that want that product. The gouvernment could have played a more helpfull role earlier on, but they really have no competence in the automotive sector.

      • Yes, I agree with you, nevertheless, I guess the government underestimated the collateral damage of shutting down Saab. At least in my country, its always the same: first the government does not help at all but with time it changes its mind…after all everywhere in the world politicians are hunting votes, don’t they? Regarding the competence in the automotive sector, I am wondering whether or not a joint venture would be attractive…at least it worked in my home country on a very similar situation. Meanwhile Graz produces lots of cars (Mercedes, Minis, Aston Martins etc) and the business is still growing.
        I just hope they will not consider building electric cars as I honestly believe this to be a dead ended road (From where we get the energy from? More atomic power plants?). However Saab’s BioPower idea has a future, I am 100% positive on that!

  6. Terrible situation. Something similar is developing in the Netherlands as well now. Bankruptcies are up 45% (january 2010-january 2011), house prices are collapsing, people are asked for additional surety for their mortgages which they cannot provide so foreclosures are rising sharply (the government’s solution for this is that people should just pay off as much on their mortgages from their savings as they can so that their monthly expenditure will be lower….), unemployment is up (next year 65.000 more, including tens of thousands of state employees, military personnel…; this is the official estimation so it will be quite a bit more than that), prices are rising, shops are closing, municipal and water taxes go up, inflation soars (due to energy and fuel prices mostly), enormous budget cuts in education, healthcare, public services, social care, children’s benefits, retirement benefits… And still the government defends the necessity to cut and cut and cut on state spending. They are going to keep cutting until the whole economy crashes.

    I wasn’t born in 1930 but from what I have read about that crisis, it looks like we are going to have a deja vu. I really and truly hope for THN and the whole of Sweden that their government has a bit more empathy for what is happening in the streets than ours does.


    • Erratum: it should read “…january 2011-january 2012…, of course.


  7. When are the next elections in the region, what false promises will the politiicians deliver now that they have failed the community completely??? Will any prospective candidates, especially those from the governing parties dare knock on the doors of Trollhattan residents? Not likely with their ring-fenced benefits and pensions…..

  8. We need to elect politicians who will do absolutely nothing, but start repealing all the crap nanny state laws and regulations that were enacted. Does the government produce anything? No they just take from you and give to somebody else or their rich pals.

  9. So, with a bit of good-will most of this could have been avoided. Dear Swedish Government, you have to do your homework !

  10. This is indeed the very sad reality… I do hope there IS a new buyer for Saab, and they will continue production in THN and not just ship machinery to China or employ 10% of the workforce to assemble wind turbines…

    • Well, at least if they end up working on the wind turbines, they’ll earn money to feed thier families – much better situation compared to gm’s causing 3000 to 4000 families unemployed with no source of income!

  11. What is happening in Trollhattan now is what would have happened in Michigan if the US government had not bailed out GM and Chrysler. Execs and white collar guys find new work. The vast majority – the blue collar guys – take huge pay cuts and work at jobs cooking hamburgers for each other. Like in Michigan, those guys worked their hearts out to produce the best product they could with what they were given. The problem with the GM workers is they were given crappy things to build. They did the job, but the job was to build crap.

    • Disagree, David. You don’t really know what would have happened if taxpayers hadn’t bailed them. Also this is the 2nd Chrysler welfare bailout. Third I would not go so far as to say that US workers build crap. Cadillac or Camaro or Ford Taurus are good cars, built for US roads and highways. I wouldn’t consider them crap. I know cause I drive a company Taurus and it runs very well. Not refined but good.

    • Don’t forget about the closure of the Saab 9-7X factory in Ohio and it did cause problems for the workers.

  12. Not only the burger bars, supermarkets, Butlers and the Swania going to suffer here. The local council is going to raise less taxes and will have to cut back on community spending.

  13. ARE YOU READING THIS GM?!?!?!!!!

  14. What was the Swedish Government thinking? It didn’t take a crystal ball to understand what would happen to the region if SAAB shut down. Even if they couldn’t save SAAB themselves, it may have been helpful if they at least appeared to be committed to the Company. It is hard to expect GM officials sitting in Detroit to feel the need to extend themselves on SAAB’s behalf when the Swedish Government itself didn’t want to be bothered. Unbelievable.

    That said, the priority now has to be getting an employer into the SAAB plant. As a SAAB owner for over for four decades, I hope that employer will be building SAAB cars, but that is secondary to getting the employees back to work in meaningful employment.

  15. It is so depressing to see this happening to the Trollhattan area. I have had many trips from the US to SAT and many good memories of the people of Trollhattan (and many good beers @ Butlers, Mama Mia and Swania!). Hopefully some savior for Saab will come along and revive the area to the level it deserves.
    All the best to all the friends I have met and worked with over the years.
    Rich Miller