Crashed Saab, Smashed Volvo


Driving instructor Drew Barnholtz is being sued for crashing a former student’s 2001 Saab 93 Turbo during a lap around Gateway International Raceway in Collinsville.

In a suit filed Aug. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court, Robert Volpe is seeking in excess of $50,000 for serious injuries he sustained in a crash on Aug. 30, 2003.

According to the suit, Barnholtz asked Volpe if he could drive around the race track with Volpe in the passenger seat.

Barnholtz, who was employed by Phil Wicks Driving Academy at Gateway, lost control of the vehicle, hit a guardrail, became airborne and landed upside down in a grassy area near the track.

But hey, hitting a rail, getting airborn and landing on your roof? Dead’s a lot worse than injured.


The outcry over cutbacks at Trollhattan (the place, not the blog) and the subsequent move of production to Russelsheim may be a little better understood now.

Even when you are contributing to your parent’s bottom line, it’s hard to avoid cutbacks. This from The Local:

Around 1,500 hundred jobs are to go at Volvo Cars as the company makes drastic cutbacks to be able to continue to deliver profits to parent company Ford. The biggest losses are likely to be in Gothenburg.

The value of the dollar is being given as one of the main reasons behind the package of savings which was presented on Tuesday, but the rising cost of raw materials and oil are also playing a part. Nor is the situation helped by increasingly fierce competition, above all in the US….

….It has been golden times for Volvo since Ford took over in 1999, delivering multi-billion kronor profits to the new owners…..

…..2004 was a record year for Volvo, with sales of around 456,000 cars.

The company invests 10-15 billion kronor every year in systems and product development. It is partly to allow continued investment in these areas that the company says the cost-cutting is necessary.


In addition, just to show we Saabists aren’t the only ones sweating over where our future cars will be built, the story above features the following comments by readers of The Local.

Gustav Gustavson | 24th August 2005 | 03.58

Thursday, September 4, 2003
Volvo Cars plans to open automotive plant in China
By Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Volvo said Thursday it will open a new automotive assembly plant in China to build its new line of S40 and V50 models, but didn’t specify where or when it would open.
Hans-Olov Olsson, the chief executive of the Ford Motor Co.-owned car maker said initial plans call for the plant to assemble parts shipped from Europe to China.

Our economy will change.
Everything changes in time.

Garry | 24th August 2005 | 13.11

Ooooo.. just a few days back i posted when will VOLVO start moving out of sweden.. and here it is… I wonder what will the swedish govt do once most of the jobs are shipped to the east… cheap labour… good profits… richer sweden.. poorer swedes…!!!

Rodney | 24th August 2005 | 14.31

OK, so Volvo produces quality cars at their factory in Göteborg and is making a good profit and thats nice. But Volvo has not invested much at all at their plant in Göteborg. The Volvo plant is one of the oldest auto plants in Europe. Why isnt Volvo investing in their plant in Göteborg? Simple, as soon as Ford is ready with their new factorys outside of Sweden (like China) they will shut down production in Göteborg and move production to their new factories. They wont tell you this but the “cards are on the table” and they dont want to cause “panic” in Sweden.

It all sounds so familiar, doesn’t it?

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