Calls in Sweden to nationalize Volvo, Saab

The potential collapse of General Motors and Ford has Sweden concerned over the future of the country's two famous car brands -- Volvo and Saab. Rolf Wolff, dean of the Gothenburg University business school, is calling on the Swedish government to consider nationalizing the companies.

"We all ought to take a moment to think about what would happen in Sweden if both Volvo Cars and Saab Automobile ceased to exist," Wolff wrote in Monday's issue of Dagens Industri, according to a translation by The Local. "If Volvo Cars disappears as a base for industrial knowledge and skills, then Sweden will never again be a part of the auto industry. All the knowledge and skills would be lost, and with it all future associated development potential would be gone. Forever."

Earlier this week, the Swedish government said it will wait and see what GM and Ford are planning. Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson said the government has no indication yet about the future of the brands. "What will Ford and GM do? Will Ford and GM move forward with Saab and Volvo? Will they develop new car models?" Olofsson said.

Whether Sweden nationalizes the companies, or simply makes it possible for private enterprise in the country to stage a takeover, it's very likely something will eventually happen in this vain. Rumors about GM and Ford shedding the Swedish brands continue to circulate, and in Saab's case, we might find out GM's plans as soon as next week.