A little bit of Saab at Almedalen

We’ve already told you about the zero emissions Saab 9-3 ePower vehicles that are both on the roads and on display at Almedalen, the big socio-political love-fest on in Visby at the moment. We’ll hopefully have more on those vehicles later.

In the meantime, here’s a little of what’s happening at Almedalen….

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Saab’s representative at Almedalen is our Public Affairs officer, Anna Petre. Swedish publication Resume had a quick chat with her at Almedalan and it’s recommended reading for those who’d like to know a little more about what’s being talked about in regard to Saab at the event.

….we knew we would get a dip in finances in April. The plan was to solve it by letting Vladimir Antonov purchase our property and lease it back. The government said “yes”, but the European Investment Bank said “no”…..

Anna Petre has met politicians from all parties, but never Moderate leadership: – No, I have never met Fredrik Reinfeldt and Anders Borg. Their stance is that the Ministry of Industry has responsibility.

That last point is an interesting one and apparently there has been quite a bit of talk about this at the event (in Swedish).

We spoke to Anna yesterday about her program at Almedalen and this is what she had to say:

Anna, what are you doing in Almedalen?

– I meet parliamentarians and officials from departments and talk about Saab. It is important that relevant facts get enough scope. And, I also participate in seminars. The other day I spoke at an industry seminar about the political future of the automotive industry in Sweden. It was a real marathon seminar that lasted all afternoon. In the middle of my presentation Mats Odell (Odell is chairman of the parliamentary economic committee, editor’s note) stood up and said: “Anna. I just want to tell you that the EIB just approved the Saab Property deal.” And when he got up on stage to speak after me, he spontaneously decided to dedicate his speaking time to Saab and the EIB’s role in the Saab issue. This gave us more focus than originally planned.

How is the interest around Saab at the event?

– Huge! I would say that the Saab issue is one of the dominant issues here and I notice significant support from several directions.

Do you find time to talk about Saab’s product program as well?

– Yes, absolutely. We have brought both the 9-3 ePower and the new 9-5 SportCombi and we have them exhibited in the harbor. There are also cars for test drives and the SportCombi has attracted very high interest.

Are you the only Saab representative in Visby/Gotland?

– No, but there are not many of us. Technicians are needed for maintaining the cars and we have some product experts here as well.

What is the cost of participation in the “Almedalsveckan”?

– It cost us nothing this year. Our partners in the electric car project finance our participation.

What is on your program now?

– Later today I’ll go with some parliamentarians for an ePower test drive, and tomorrow I will be participating in a seminar on green cars.

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