Sweden's government has prepared a package to help Saab Automobile AB's only Swedish plant stay alive amid cutbacks in Europe announced by General Motors this month, including improved roads and railways and more money for research and development.

Margareta Ternell, spokeswoman for the ministry of industry, employment and communications, told the Associated Press that the governing coalition parties had reached an agreement on the package, but will not reveal details until Saab submits a bid to GM, Saab's owner, showing why the Trollhaettan plant should keep producing midsize cars.

That bid, which will be handed to GM on Sunday, will include the government-sponsored package, the report said.

AP noted that GM said last month that only one of its European plants should be used to produce midsize cars, a task currently divided between Trollhaettan and an Opel plant in Ruesselheim, Germany. The decision sparked a fierce contest between the two plants to convince GM it should be picked. The losing plant risks massive layoffs, or perhaps even a complete shutdown.

While both the Swedish and German governments are prohibited by EU regulations from offering subsidies, Sven-Erik Soeder, state secretary for the industry and employment ministry, reportedly said last week that Sweden can invest more money in improved infrastructure, product research and development in order to convince GM to keep production in Trollhaettan.

According to the news agency, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported that the package will include widening the main road to Trollhaettan, turning it into an interstate, and laying an extra railroad track to the city, making it easier to deliver parts to the factory and ship cars out of it. These projects were already planned, but will be given priority and increased government funding.

Prime Minister Goeran Persson is scheduled to meet with GM leaders on Friday in Switzerland to discuss Saab's future, the Associated Press added.