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A statement from the Swedish government assured a "clear assumption that the state does not intend to acquire any of the existing automotive manufacturers." Interesting--and similar to U.S. Congressional mandates for efficient vehicles--is Sweden's pledge of 250 million euro for a government-backed automotive research company set to develop green technologies for future vehicles. This should dovetail nicely with Volvo's trio of DRIVe concepts and Saab's extensiveresearch and development of gasoline engines that actually make more power and better mileage while running on ethanol.
Both Swedish auto firms are currently controlled by U.S. automakers; GM owns Saab, while Ford owns Volvo. But in drastic attempts to stay alive and cut back costs, both domestics have put these European brands up on the auction block, showing the worldwide ripple effect of troubles in the U.S. auto industry.--Colin Mathews