Sweden’s Maud Oloffson Indicates Funding Will Be Available, If Saab Transitions Into Wind Industry

Posted on 12. Mar, 2009 by in 2000-2009

Photo Credit: Aaron Gilbert / NWSOC

A writer on Green Tech Media recently picked up a dialog from Sweden’s Maud Olofsson, regarding her interest in ultimately seeing Saab Automobile contribute to the wind turbine industry.

As we may know, Saab Automobile have been collaborating with Volvo and Sweden’s primary energy provider, Vattenfall for some time now on a hybrid vehicle and quite possibly, other developments. Could there be future developments on energy that we are unaware of too?

We know that spending resources on wind turbine energy is not new for Saab, as their former counterparts, SCANIA collaborated on this project back in 1975 when they created one of the first wind turbines in Sweden.

The question is, if GM go bankrupt on March 31st, 2009, and Saab also does not find an owner by then, it seems that instead going out of business, the only way the Swedish Government will fund Saab, is to aid them in transitioning their business to the wind industry.

It’s clear that Saab literally know just about everything when it comes to turbines from their airplane industry long ago to turbochargers that came about in late seventies, could wind turbines be the last opportunity for them if all else fails? At least with that, we know the Swedish Government will support them if no other owner comes through to support their current automobile business.

One thing is for sure, if that ever did happen, it would be a fast-tracked way to be in line with Sweden’s mission to be off of fossil fuels by 2020 completely (11 years from now).

Airplanes->Automobiles->Wind Turbines?

Here is the article below for your reference:

Sweden to Saab: Merge to Wind Power or Shut Down

Swedish car company Saab received a tough message from the Swedish Minister of Trade: change your business and start producing wind power towers and turbines.
by: Fredrik Wass

Bullet Arrow March 4, 2009

Swedish car company Saab, a subsidiary of the American company General Motors, could change its business and go into producing wind power towers and turbines. That is the message from Swedish trade minister Maud Olofsson, after refusing a financial support package to the Swedish car manufacturer, now on the brink of shutdown.

The message from the Swedish government should be considered in light of the country’s ambition to make Sweden a greentech export success story, even as its car industry falters. For example, Swedish power company Vattenfall, owned by the Swedish government, is already Europe’s largest power supplier from wind power sources since it acquired the Dutch firm Nuon last week.

Greentech exports now represent only 2 percent Sweden’s total export business, a low number that the government is trying to increase. The idea that Saab, which also manufacturers airplanes, could transfer its operations into wind power system is not at all unreasonable, claims Swedish industrial economics professor Staffan Laestadius, talking to the Swedish magazine Miljöaktuellt.

“Producing wind power is more realistic for Saab than ever being a profitable car manufacturer again. It is also substantially more desirable for Sweden,” he said.

How about Volvo, a subsidiary of America’s Ford Motor Company, the other Swedish car company in trouble? The Swedish government’s interest in saving the car companies also reflects a desire to avoid layoffs and keep as many jobs as possible in Sweden. Denying Saab a support package or ownership deal, Maud Olofsson, however, opens up the possibility of helping Volvo keep the company alive. Many subco ntractors and jobs are on the line if the company were forced to shut down. But the owner’s attitude also counts.

“Volvo’s owners, Ford, told us that they will continue to support us and are ready to take full ownership responsibilites. That separates Ford from GM, who is now just leaving Saab behind,” Maud Olofsson said to Swedish business weekly Veckans affärer.

Volvo has already started wind-power system investments in Sweden’s west coast region. This allows Volvo to avoid car-factory layoffs in the region by switching employees into a wind-power service. The investments are being undertaken through an investor network called Power West, reported Swedish daily Göteborgsposten.

Ford could just be giving the Swedish government guarantees, which raises the question: How important is it for Ford to save Swedish factory jobs in the face of the American car industry’s tailspin? Switching to wind power may seem like a good way to prepare for the future.

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No Responses to “Sweden’s Maud Oloffson Indicates Funding Will Be Available, If Saab Transitions Into Wind Industry”

  1. Tony

    12. Mar, 2009

    Hi,

    Can we expect to see a wind turbine powered Saab anytime soon…. 😉

    Just pullin’ yr wastegate, mate! LOL

    Cheers
    Tony

    Reply to this comment
  2. Nate 9-3

    12. Mar, 2009

    Looks like Maud is pulling the ultimate “big sister”. I just cannot see how a government can coerce a manuafacturer like this and get away with it.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ryan

    13. Mar, 2009

    Thanks folks, it’s hard to not see any definitive decisions yet and then we hear news like this.

    Reply to this comment

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