Saab to reshuffle board, save company

In the latest chapter of the long running Saab saga, Swedish Automobile, the company’s management, has called an extraordinary general meeting next month to discuss restructuring the board of directors.

Saab to reshuffle board, save company

The main aim of the EGM, set to take place on November 11, will be to allow places on the board for new stakeholders from prospective Chinese investors, Pang Da and Youngman, provided they pump a certain amount of capital into the ailing car maker.

The new proposal would give Youngman 29,9 percent of Swedish Automobile, and Pang Da 24 percent.

Lawyer Guy Lofalk, the latest person to be charged with finding a route to survival for Saab has been in China this week to work on the business plan for the newly reconstructed company and drum up support.

As well as visiting the Swedish embassy in Beijing, Lofalk, together with Saab business development manager Martin Larson, discussed the proposed new business plan with executives from the two Chinese companies.

They now have one month to work on the latest plan, which, if acceptable to all parties, will provide the foundations for the reconstruction of the Swedish company.

Meanwhile, its not all doom and gloom around the company. Owners around Europe are taking part in the annual Saab convoy to celebrate the iconic Swedish brand.

Two groups started the long journey to Trollhättan on Friday, one from Germany and another from Kista, just outside Stockholm.

The car enthusiasts will convene in the home town of the car maker for a party over the weekend.

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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.