Maud receives criticism from constitutional committee

Spyker fought hard, but Maud won -- for now

TTELA reports that Maud has been criticized by the Committee on the Constitution (KU). The committee states that Maud kept important information from other branches of the government concerning Antonov, thus causing unnecessary delays for Saab. Saab wasted several months waiting for government and EIB approval of Antonov’s potential investment in Saab.

As for Antonov, the plot thickens as the Lithuanian chief of the national bank Vitas Vasiliauskas turns out to be the former head of council for the Baltic company LAWIN. On LAWIN’s website, GM Europe is listed as one of their clients. Mr Vasiliauskas has been quite active in building a case against Antonov.

In related news, Pravda recently reported that Snoras was little more than a shell before Antonov got involved and has since been developed into a fully fledged bank with modern Internet solutions and many ATM cash points. I realize Antonov has already been publicly convicted by the Swedish media, but the situation is quite reverse in Russia it seems.

Finally, there is a rumor floating around in various forums that claims Lithuania’s government adjusted no less than seven different laws before they were able to bring charges against Antonov’s bank.

Maud on Saab’s Failure

The growing criticism towards SweGov made Maud “Windmill” Olofsson defend the stace she and the government took in the Saab affair (from

– We never said no to Vladimir Antonov, it was GM and the EIB. The power was with the EIB, which lent the money, this knew Victor Muller says Olofsson to Svenska Dagbladet.

I don’t want to be picky here, but as far as GM is concerned James Cain told a different story about Vladimir. But after all, annoyed me about SweGov was not what they did, it was what they did not do. A positive public statement could have been helpful, instead the politicians in charge at best took a duck and cover attitude. Quite often they even talked down Saab.

Of course Maud is right when she states that the reason for Saabs failure are to be found within the company. But when it comes to the obstacles Saab had to face on the quest for survival she was one of those adding a few more, even if just through doing nothing. Not surprising to see her point at everybody else now.

This is again something that makes me worry about that Japanese electric consortium involved in the bidding process. It will be hard enough to keep all members of the consortium on board over the long period until their plan could generate profit, but with govermental involvement – I don’t even want to think about that.

Digging into Maud’s claims (for future reference)

First of all, the following is intended to again draw attention to the Swedish government’s lack of commitment to the Swedish automobile industry. I am not necessarily advocating spending the taxpayers’ money, although that would certainly be in everyone’s best interest. I am however reminding people that the government are still dragging their feet when asked to approve Antonov as a major shareholder of Saab. It seems as if the government are pushing EIB to not approve Antonov so the public won’t realize the government are actively trying to bury the automobile industry.

In any case: I find it both interesting as well as annoying the way politicians twist and turn around the issues at hand.

An excellent example is Maud Olofsson’s infamous letter to Mr Antonov.

Read moreDigging into Maud’s claims (for future reference)

I am missing nationalism (The Swedish government is not like other governments)

Tompa asked me to post the following article from

I’m missing nationalism

He diqualifies the governments actions when it comes to Saab.

Head of the Automotive components group (FKG) Sven Åke Berglie also think that Minister of Enterprise Maud Olofsson shows uninterest and lacks skills of leadership.

Read moreI am missing nationalism (The Swedish government is not like other governments)

Friday Morning Snippets: Let’s Get Rolling Already

Most of the news this morning provides a good wrap up of what’s going on with the various players who hold the keys to Saab restarting production. Click through for an article from Dagens Industri about the meeting with NDRC representatives, ttela’s impressions of what the NDO needs to move the deals forward, and optimistic yet still frank and nervous supplier talk. Finally a reminder of why we care so much about these cars in the first place, Swade does a great job updating us on what the Best of the Road contestants are up to. The 9-4X video is pretty fun.

Read moreFriday Morning Snippets: Let’s Get Rolling Already

Välkommen till Sverige, Pang Da *UPDATED

An article from brings us details of Pang Da’s visit today and tomorrow. There are two groups from Pang Da, a team visiting Trolhattan today and another comprised of senior leadership meeting with government officials (including Maud Olosson and the NDO) in Stockholm. Normally I don’t like just posting news article translations but I’ll be the first to admit this sums up the activities of the last 48 hours well and explains what next 24-48 hours hold.

A special congratulations to Saab staff for putting in so much hard work to get production rolling again, we’re all amazed by your work ethic.

Photo: Roger Larch, ttela

Read moreVälkommen till Sverige, Pang Da *UPDATED

Saab saved by SAS

If you’re wondering why there’s been precious little whining about the Swedish media around here so far this week, it’s a combination of a few things.

  1. Better news in the form of funding from Hereema and the EU approval for Saab’s EIB loan.
  2. SAS, the airline, being up the creek without a paddle and – get this – getting a financial bailout from the Swedish government!

The Swedish government own 20 percent of the company, with the governments of Norway and Denmark having a 14% stake each, along with the Wallenbergs.
The airline has been bleeding cash for some time with an ageing fleet and cut-price competition. That’s the background, but the big headline for Saab fans is seeing Maud Olofsson announce that the Swedish state will be pouring some cash in to prop up the airline (pardon the pun).
From SvD:

– It is important to preserve the value of the company, it is taxpayers’ money, “says Olofsson.

And of course, therein lies the difference. They have government ownership involved already, whereas Saab were owned by GM.
They could blame GM for Saab’s failure, but if SAS fails, they can only blame themselves.
I hope there’s a solution for the people who rely on SAS for their livelihood, but the irony of the situation just had to be noted here.
Thanks to OKSaab for the tip!

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