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Swedish Government to help Saab

Sweden’s government will try to help Saab Automobile AB’s last plant in the country win a fierce contest with an Opel plant in Germany to produce midsize cars in the future for General Motors, Government officials say.

While both the Swedish and German Governments are prohibited by European Union regulations from offering up subsidies, Sweden can invest more money in infrastructure, product research and development in order to convince GM to keep production in Trollhaettan, according to Sven-Erik Soeder, state secretary for the Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications.

However, Soeder reportedly declined to say how much money the government would spend helping Saab and emphasised that it's up to the plant to ensure its own survival.

GM decided earlier this month that the production of upper medium sized cars in Europe, currently divided between a Saab plant in Trollhaettan and an Opel factory in Ruesselsheim, Germany, should all be handled by the same plant. The decision has sparked a fierce fight for survival between both plants, as they have until next year to convince GM it should be picked for the job. The losing plant risks massive layoffs, or perhaps even a complete shutdown.

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