Sweden snubs car firms buy-up plan

The Swedish government will not be bailing out the country's troubled industry by offering to buy Volvo and Saab from their American owners, it has announced.

According to industry minister Maud Olofsson, the centre-right government is ready to support the firms but it would not be the best-suited buyer if Ford and General Motors decided to sell the Volvo and Saab brands.

"I don't see it as the government's task to own automakers," Ms Olofsson said. "I think the taxpayers have to understand that it is a risky project to invest their money and buy either Volvo or Saab at a time when there are such great losses."

She said the government was looking at other solutions to boost the Swedish car industry, such as increasing funds for research and development.

Her comments come as the government faces mounting pressure to prepare a rescue plan for Volvo and Saab, whose future has been thrown into uncertainty by the crisis in the US auto industry.

Earlier this week, Ford reiterated its intention to offload Volvo, by either selling the Swedish automaker or spinning it off into a separate company, while GM said it was conducting an "expedited and strategic review" of Saab.

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