If the editorial pages of Sweden’s largest dailies are any indicator, the death of Saab didn’t come as a huge shock, for journalists or car enthusiasts.
"It is a tragic but nonetheless not totally unexpected announcement that Saab will now be wound down," Goteborgs-Posten said, while noting that Saab had barely turned a profit in two decades under GM management. Most editors blamed GM for not doing enough to bring out Saab's full potential and said Swedes could not blame the Swedish center-right government—which repeatedly said the state would not step in as owner—for Saab's fate. "The government did what it could to facilitate a sale of Saab and kept the door open for loan guarantees," conservative daily Svenska Dagbladet wrote. "Now that Saab has come to the end of the road and it's time to write the epilogue, much of the blame will be placed on General Motors' lame ownership," it said. The Swedish government vowed to help the 3,400 employees in Saab's hometown of Trollhattan and the thousands of other subcontractors who will soon find themselves out of work—up to 8,000 according to some reports. Mass-circulation Dagens Nyheter warned against quick fixes to help the town of 55,000 deal with the blow. "The government should keep a cool head. Dispensing money to build up replacement industries usually ends in failure," it said, recalling previous efforts after crises in the textile and shipbuilding industries. GM's decision was also a heavy blow to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's government as it struggles in the polls ahead of Sweden's general election in September, financial daily Dagens Industri said.