Saab investors line up new meeting – reports

Employees at beleaguered car maker Saab are cautiously optimistic after receiving their salaries for July this week and the news that further talks with Pang Da could take place over the weekend.

Saab investors line up new meeting - reports

The Chinese firm raised the cash with a new emission of some five million shares, according to Expressen, but in the longer term, unions are hoping to see more concrete survival plans.

Although the company’s long term viability remains under scrutiny the news that the salaries could be paid last month at least was a relief. “No one wants this to happen again,” said press spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs.

“We want to see a plan of action for Saab Automobile can survive in the short term,” said union General Counsel Martin Wästfelt in a statement.

With many workers due to return after the summer break next week, the rumours that Pang Da executives are on their way to Sweden for a further meeting gives more cause for optimism. One report suggests that CEO Pang Qinghua is in Europe already, and is planning to go to Trollhättan for a meeting next week, while others say that meeting could take place as early as this weekend.

Meanwhile at the plant, production levels are still low as the company gears up for the order from Pang Da of more than 1900 cars from Saab worth over SEK 400 million.

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VW Scandal: France to launch ‘in-depth’ probe

Update: France's Environment Minister Segolene Royal on Tuesday announced an "in-depth" investigation after Volkswagen admitted millions of cars were fitted with software that secretly thwarts pollution tests in the US.

VW Scandal: France to launch 'in-depth' probe
"This is not a minor subject, it's not about speed or the quality of leather," said the French finance minister of the VW scandal. Photo: AFP

Royal also asked French manufacturers to “ensure that such schemes are not taking place in France.”

Her announcement came after Michel Sapin on Tuesday morning told French radio that in order to “reassure” the public, it seemed “necessary” to carry out checks on cars manufactured by other European carmakers.

“We are in a European market, with European rules that need to be respected,” Sapin told Europe 1 radio.

“Even if it's just to reassure people, it seems necessary to me that (checks should be carried out) also on French carmakers,” he said, adding he had no “particular reason” to suspect wrongdoing.

According to US authorities, VW admitted that it had equipped about 482,000 cars in the United States with sophisticated software that covertly turns off pollution controls when the car is being driven and turns them on only when it detects that the car is undergoing an emissions test.

With the so-called “defeat device” deactivated, the car can spew pollutant gases into the air, including nitrogen oxide in amounts as much as 40 percent higher than emissions standards, said the US Environmental Protection Agency.

“This is not a minor subject, it's not about speed or the quality of leather,” stressed Sapin.

“What we are dealing with is making sure people avoid being poisoned by pollution,” said the minister.

German authorities have already announced an investigation into whether Volkswagen or other carmakers are doing anything similar in Germany or Europe.