Saab chair apologises to employees

Saab chairman Victor Muller arrived in Trollhättan on Tuesday to brief employees on the cooperation with Chinese firm Pang Da and to apologise for the turbulence of recent weeks.

“He said he was very sorry for putting Saab in this situation and making us go through all of this,“ said Björn Askhem who has been a Saab employee since 1978.

Unshaven and alone on the stage, Muller solemnly promised that it wouldn’t happen again.

“It was strong of him,“ Askhem said to news agency TT.

However, Muller couldn’t say for sure when the factory would start production again.

But in his speech he said that they are hoping to have production lines going again as soon as possible. Maybe in a week or two, depending on how fast negotiations with suppliers could be completed.

“The best thing about the Pang DA agreement is that we have bought ourselves some time and will be able to produce more cars. Also we have secured the funds to be able to negotiate with our suppliers,” Muller told news agency TT after the meeting.

But at IAC Group Sweden, one of Saab’s biggest suppliers, 200 people are still scheduled to lose their jobs.

“We haven’t begun any negotiations with Saab. They haven’t contacted us. For us the situation is unchanged,“ Marcus Nyman CEO at IAC told TT.

The news about Saab’s cooperation with Pang Da ‘brings some hope’ Nyman told TT.

“But as far as I understand nothing has happened. We have no information that says this might solve our problems. Saab’s debt to us is still not settled,“ said Nyman.

Plastal, another supplier that was forced to let 50 employees go on Friday due to Saab’s inability to confirm when production can commence again, hasn’t head anything either.

“Until we know that they have found a solution that guarantees production, we have to let go of our people,” CEO Per-Ewe Wendel told TT, though added he has been hard to reach all day.

According to Saab’s information department in Trollhättan, production is expected to begin again in around two weeks.

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Volkswagen sacks CEO Müller after less than 3 years in job: report

Scandal-hit car giant Volkswagen said Tuesday it has sacked its chief executive Matthias Müller, German media report.

Volkswagen sacks CEO Müller after less than 3 years in job: report
Matthias Müller. Photo: DPA

“The Volkswagen group is considering further evolving the leadership structure, which could be connected with changes in the board… a change to the chief executive could be involved,” VW said in a statement.

Both Handelsblatt and Reuters report that Müller has been removed from his post.

Supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch had been “speaking with different members of the supervisory and executive boards” about moving or replacing some of them, the statement went on, adding that Müller “signalled he was open to play a part in the changes.”

Handelsblatt reported that Herbert Diess, head of the VW brand — one of the group's 12 makes of cars, trucks and motorbikes — was slated to take Müller's place.

Volkswagen did not respond immediately when contacted about the report.

Müller, a former chief executive of VW subsidiary Porsche, was brought in to replace Martin Winterkorn.

The longtime CEO quit after the firm admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat regulatory emissions tests in a scandal that became known as “dieselgate.”

Müller has chivvied the mammoth carmaker into a massive restructuring, aiming to electrify many of its lines and slim down its massive operations over the coming decades.

But he himself has landed in prosecutors' sights over suspicions he may have known about the diesel cheating before it became public and failed in his duty to inform investors.

Last month, Müller said that chief executives of big companies deserved high pay because “one always has one foot in jail”.