Fleet News

Saab threatens to pull out of Sweden

SAAB is reported to have threatened to pull out of Sweden because of proposed fleet rules which would ban the country's Highway Agency from buying Swedish-built cars. The National Road Administration proposals for making official cars more environmentally friendly were announced in late August.

Official cars must weigh no more than 1500kg, and use no more than 8.6 litres of fuel per 100 miles. None of Saab's cars and only one of Volvo's meets the restrictions, which are designed to take effect next January. The agency's policies are traditionally taken up by other public agencies in Sweden, and a spokesman said fleet managers usually followed their lead as well.

Saab is reported to have said: 'If this happens in our home market, we will question whether to stay and manufacture here.' A letter of protest has been sent to the Swedish prime minister. It said: 'The Government must pay as much attention to improving conditions for the car industry as it does to improving the environment. Otherwise, we have every reason to be apprehensive about the future of our sector of industry in this country.'

However, a spokesman for Saab GB, John Brewer, told Fleet NewsNet that the threat of Saab pulling out of Sweden had abated. Saab was using the world's largest auto show to launch its 9-5 executive car.

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