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Sweden stalls on Volvo loans

2009-05-07 13:35
Ford-owned automaker Volvo Cars said Thursday that negotiations with the Swedish government over guarantees for a €200 million loan have stalled.

Volvo Cars spokeswoman Maria Bohlin said it became complicated to complete the negotiations while Ford was still working on its strategic review of Volvo, which could lead to a sale of the brand.

However, she said the government is open to resume negotiations when the situation has become clearer.

The European Investment Bank in March approved loans of €200 million for Volvo Cars, subject to availability of a state guarantee. The loan was part of a bigger package to support European auto makers' development of green technologies.

"We are disappointed that we have not been able to come to an agreement. Our competitors in other markets like Italy, Germany, France and UK have been able to utilise similar EIB loans which clearly give them competitive advantage during these difficult times," Volvo Cars chief executive Stephen Odell said in a statement.

The Swedish government has previously declined to provide loan guarantees for General Motor's Saab unit, citing weak backing from the US owners.

It didn't immediately return calls seeking a comment Thursday.

- Sapa-AP

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