Sweden's automotive supplier industry has added its voice to the growing chorus of criticism surrounding the government's actions in trying to rescue bankrupt Saab.

The Swedish government maintains it backed Saab by underwriting a massive EUR400m (US$529m) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) - part of which it had subsequently to repay to the Luxembourg authorities - but some have pointed out it will recoup that finance through its pledges in the automaker's parts and tooling business.

"The guarantee - what is the risk?" Scandinavian supplier body managing director Fredrik Sidahl told just-auto in his Gothenburg headquarters.

"Taking the Swedish taxpayer, I think they would like to have a good export industry. If that means we have to help our export industries to earn money, I think it is a good investment."

Saab's bankruptcy has had the trickle-down effect of causing a major amount of redundancies among many of Sidahl's members who have also been hard hit financially by the Swedish manufacturer's failure.

"Our members will not get their money back - not a chance," said Sidahl. "What we want is our customer back - Saab is a vital part of the automotive cluster in terms of good technique and innovation.

"We lose the momentum we had in Sweden for the car industry, although we still have the truck industry which is tremendously strong, 70% of FKG business is to the truck industry. We don't know the exact figure [owed] - figures we have speak around SEK1bn. Of course we have not got a penny back - the cost of solicitors is tremendous."

The Scandinavian supplier chief contrasted the Swedish government's approach to Saab's demise with that of Germany which he maintained had strongly intervened to aid Opel - and retain its automotive competence - when parent General Motors entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"I think in general the Swedish government could do more and we could do more compared to Germany for instance," he said. "Once General Motors went into Chapter 11, Opel got problems. Germany had this short-term working which meant the government paid some money [and] Opel could keep all the competence.

"The [Swedish] government did not understand the value of Saab beyond Saab as a company. Saab has been in financial problems since it was born more or less, but in broader terms has been an extremely [good] driver for what we are today."

"They [government] are restricted by rules, but they could have interpreted the European rules in a more positive way."

The Swedish authorities have previously been critcised by Saab unions and former Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov's aide, Lars Carlstrom. Antonov's efforts to invest in Saab did not ultimately succeed.