He also fears that a weakened Volvo will have a negative impact on the supply chain in Scandinavia. “My opinion is that there is only a 50-50 chance of the deal with Geely going through and time is running out. If the deal is done what will happen to Volvo in the future?
“We need two strong carmakers in Sweden to support big suppliers such as Autoliv . Saab and Volvo sit well together, they do not compete with each other.”
Muller said there were likely to be many issues to resolve between Ford and Geely before the Volvo deal can be concluded, including such things as technology transfer.
There is also opposition in Sweden to Volvo becoming Chinese-owned. Muller added: “One of the reasons Koenigsegg Automotive’s bid to buy Saab from GM fell through was because they wanted to bring Beijing Auto into the deal.”
Ford and Geely said that the deal will not be finalised until later this year.
Muller is also sceptical about full electric cars, although he said Saab will run an electric test fleet when it launches the new 9-3.
“I lose sleep over electric cars – they are a contradiction in terms. They are only as good as the grid they get their electricity from.
“In Stockholm EVs are truly zero emission because the country has nuclear and hydro-electric power stations. You can’t say the same for New York because the car might have an electric motor but 500 miles away someone is shovelling coal into the generating station.
“We have to look at where the electricity comes from. There is a long way to go before EVs can be truly classed as zero emission. I see the future for now in hybrids, smaller, high performance internal combustion engines aided by electric solutions.”