I know I shouldn’t go name-calling when it comes to Prime Ministers who can tip the scales when it comes to Saab’s future, but this is getting seriously silly.
Dagens Industri had an aticle yesterday (can’t get the link to work) where Fredrik Reinfeldt, out esteemed man of the hour, puffed his chest out and pointed his finger squarely at General Motors as the reason why Saab might not continue to exist in the future.
ctm’s provided a translation (thanks, bud!)
The Swedish government seems to have a mild interest in providing loan guarantees to Saab owner GM, and at the same time Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is worried by increased protectionism.
Saab owner General Motors (GM) is reported to seek loan guarantees from the Swedish government of 600 million U.S. dollars to be able to operate Saab until a possible sale. But Reinfeldt does not sound particularly enthusiastic about the setting.
– “It must be GM who are responsible for what happens to the now fully integrated part called for Saab. Saab is no longer an independent company, but more of a brand in a portfolio of brands in this big company,” he says.
What happens to this brand is “nothing Swedish taxpayers have direct responsibility for,” says Reinfeldt.
That’s true, Fred. But it wouldn’t hurt if you provided some incentives to kick start the local market.
But, whoever’s fault it is, that’s in the past.
You want a two-company automotive industry in your country’s future? Then bite the bullet and provide the guarantees you said you’d provide.
Saab, the Swedish guys, are working their butts off to ensure that they’ll be able to sustain themselve in the future despite the negligence shown by their corporate overlords.
This should make you happy, Fredrik. No?
….Reinfeldt is concerned over the situation for the Swedish export industry and growing signs of protectionism due to the crisis.
– “It is a historically significant and rapid decline for the Swedish export industry, followed by significant advanced notes of downsizing and increased unemployment. It is a result of shrinking key markets worldwide. It is frustrating because it is very little we can do about it.”
– “There is talks support packages in Sweden, but how do we design that so the customers in Germany, USA, Russia, China continue buying?”
All you can do is hang and plan to be around when the world starts spending again. You’re acting like a deer caught in the headlights and you’re about to get trampled, mate.
According to Reinfeldt, aid packages are often launched as crowd-pleasers but the results is that the trade and credit flows are nationalized.
– “They are often executed in order to tell voters around the world that ‘we are careful with your tax money and will ensure that it is only used for your local interests’. That will make the world poorer, We remove one of the cornerstones for global wealth, namely that we profit on cross-border trade.”
Nobody’s profiting right now, Fredrik. They’re just trying to survive and restructure so that when the good times return, they’ll still be around to enjoy them.
You’re a politician. You should know exactly what that means.