How serious is this India-based company?

December 29, 2011 in News

Well its not just serious, it is very serious. We are not allowed to reveal the identity of the company yet, but we are allowed to reveal some facts about it.

They are of course based in India but acts on a world-wide basis with much more than 100’000 employees worldwide. They are a multi-billion dollar company, that work on multiple fields such as energy, logistics, real estate and of course within the aerospace and automotive industry.

In other words, a VERY serious buyer of Saab!

126 responses to How serious is this India-based company?

  1. Lets hope for the best Timr !

  2. Just feel that somebody begin to play games again. Not a good sign…

    • Whatever!
      Do you prefer Saab to be sold in pieces and disappear? :)
      If that company helps, I’m all for it.

  3. Then why would the Attorneys refuse Them from coming in for tAlks? 😉

  4. Tata would be just wonderful…

  5. Thats not Tata .. i thought it is Mahindra

  6. The facts mentioned by TimR lokka like mahindra.
    Could be interesting.

    • Sorry about the spelling in my previous post. Its the “autospelling” that makes it a little funny.

    • Then why in their right mind would the bankruptcy attorneys refuse them? It is pretty insulting to “refuse” them. But then again, perhaps the attorneys are in talks with others.

    • Looking through Mahindra’s automotive product list, I can see how healthy dose of Saab is just what they need! The 94x could replace half the list 😉

      Wasn’t it mentioned elsewhere that they already have some tie-up with Saab Aircraft?

      • 94x? Than they need an agreement with GM.

        • Maby they were told by GM: NO India, NO China – they are big markets for GM. So if the Attorneys want to sell whole package to make cars again, they may have to look for “approvable” investor. If other – from not approvable countries – it may be only talks about technology and brand, without big, fat mothers licences, IP’s etc.

      • That’s right, Mahindra and Saab AB (aircraft and defense) already have a cooperation.

  7. Surely it´s Mahindra. Take a look at this list:

  8. Me thinks an Indian company would be a good fit…much better than Chinese, IMO.

  9. Aah, the actual value of my 9.3 is rising again..would be great news.

  10. “SsangYong was acquired by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra Limited in February 2011,[2] after being named the preferred bidder in 2010 to acquire the bankruptcy-protected company.”

  11. Would be WONDERFUL news but what kind of lame exuse will GM give to poo-poo the idea?

  12. So someone else than LC should pick up the phone on the behalf of the Indian company and arrange an appointment…
    Surely they can’t turn down an offer from a multi-billion company without ever hearing about it. There are laws that apply even to bankruptcy attorneys.

  13. Cant someone inform the Dept Office about this suspected action, against the Indian company, taken by the Receiver/Lawyer.
    The Dept Office seems to have a good and honest heart about the outcome of the bankruptcy. If they know about it they might give the receiver new directions.

  14. Why do you all think about Mahindra? They are related to Mercedes-Benz by building 4×4 cars and trucks in license and why souldn’t it perhaps be Hindustan?
    Hindustan has also build cars in license and who don’t know the Hindustan Ambassador?
    But that isn’t the only thing what Hindustan builds, they also build planes, , ohw yes, just like SAAB.
    So perhaps it also could be Hindustan, who realy needs to change the car they are building and which is based on the old Morris Oxford III, a car they are building in India since 1958!

  15. Wouldn’t be the first time:

    SAAB (not SAAB Automobile) also has partnership with Mahindra:

  16. It’s Mahindra

  17. If this is so serious then the quests won’t be turned down so easily.

    The receivers are not some bunch of stupid guys.

    But of course I welcome anyone who saves SAAB

    • There are other forces in play here… you’ll see soon enough…

      • EIB again? I hate them…

      • Forces for good or bad?

        • VM: Yes, a Saaber’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obama-Wan’s Government Motors.
          Saaber: GM… Is the dark side stronger?
          VM: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
          Saaber: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
          VM: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Saaber uses the Force for knowledge and defense, NEVER for attack.
          Saaber: But tell my why I can’t…
          VM: No, no! There is no “why”.


  18. Hal only have 35000 employes, so that dosn´t fit with what TimR said. On the otherhand Mahindra have over 100000 and have been intrested in Saab before:

    • Hmm, i didn’t think about the amount of employes and then, yes, it mostly likes to be Mahindra.
      But as what other people have wrote to: It doesn’t matter who bys SAAB, the most important thing is that somebody does that. Let’s hope for the best!

      • Yes but Tata Group has over 400,000 employees. It still could be Tata or Mahindra but either way it needs to be someone with deep pockets to invest in the future.

      • No. There must be someone with real money to invest in front to get the long hanging fruits in a short/ middle time and the full revenue later. We’ve seen a company saving Saab at that time bust couldn’t give it a bright future. There should be no dependencies like NDO/ EIB and what ever.
        Following a business plan with no struggles.

  19. Last I heard Mahindra was planning to sell trucks in the US and had set up a dealer network, but the project stalled. No new information available. TRACK

    • I heard the same thing—-the distribution/sales network agreement was almost finalized, but fell through. It would have been tough sledding, starting something like this from the ground up. Conversely, if they buy Saab, they already have technicians hired, along with salespeople, finance managers, etc. There are showrooms, service bays, etc. that are currently Saab—-and could become Mahindra/Saab. My understanding is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has already approved one or two Mahindra vehicles for U.S. sale—-a huge hurdle. If they can buy Saab, this will become interesting very fast—-another new life for Saab????

    • But Mahindra makes the Mahindra Navistar. According to Navistar’s website, Navistar is also part of the group of trucking companies that makes International. For those in Europe, Navistar and International are pretty big names in the US trucking industry. International has been around since about 1903.

      Look at the Navistar Thor. It’s a Jeep Wrangler. This would be too funny. My daughter recently bought my son-in-law a used Jeep Wrangler for Christmas breaking my family’s string of 15 Saabs. How funny it would be for Saab to be bought by an Indian Company that has been making Jeep Wrangler clones since 1947.

  20. Adrian Hallmark was a former Saab Sales Chief and currently the Global Brand Director of Jaguar, owned by Tata… I see a certain pattern.. :)

    • Given Hallmark’s performance in Saab marketing and the cloud nder which he left Saab I somewhere doubt that he would recommend Saab to his Indian bosses.


  21. the new Saab can have a PTO for a backhoe or log splitter attachment.

    • this would be a good move if they can do it in time. Many do not know that Saab is bankrupt, but then there are those that do know and who are not getting the service and warranty needed for thier purchase. This could hurt Saab and take years to get customers back. But if this deal can be done quickly and warranties reinstated and a marketing campaign, Saab- We here, we are alive, and we make some kick butt cars…. :)

  22. if they are so serious why did VM not talk to them before? Reckon they are only after the technology, I have no idea why the receiver would not talk to them?

    • This news might just be a one day fly, it disappears in 1 day and nobody will talk about it more.

      After following Saab news in the past 8 months day in day out, I start to get a bit tired of all those speculations, hopefully next APRIL all ends, good or bad.

      Maybe still a Happy Ending there :)

  23. i don’t care who buys Saab as long as they have the MONEY to run it. Chinese,Indian as long as production stays in Sweden.

  24. Thanks for the info Tim, interesting.

  25. I can certainly understand that the receivers have a hard time taking anything that comes from Carlstrom seriously. Attention seeker with a dubious past.

    To Mahindra: Get some professional representation instead. If you do, then I am sure that you will receive a warm welcome.

  26. I’ve been saying here and other places on the web that if Mahindra’s pockets are deep enough, this might be a worthwhile agreement/purchase for them. I even contacted Mahindra’s main office recently to make the suggestion—-even though it now appears they were aleady on it! Yes, the U.S. EPA has approved one or two Mahindra vehicles for U.S. sale. I think there is a compact pick-up truck and possibly a small sport-ute. I heard that at least on the pick-up, a diesel engine might be offered—-something no one else in the U.S. is doing on a compact pick-up, as far as I know. I understand they had a sales and distribution almost finalized, but it fell through. So at least in the U.S.—–if Mahindra gains control of Saab Automobile, they’ll have a dealer network in place, with service bays, sales, finance managers, etc. already hired. If they can continue to sell the GM based Saabs, they can do it side-by-side with Mahindra trucks. If GM continues to be asinine, maybe Mahnidra can sell whatever they’re allowed to sell—be it new Mahindra trucks or new Saabs on older technology platforms—-while new vehicles planned for the Saab portfolio are readied. If this is done right, it can absolutely work. I have no doubts that this can be done in a successful way. Management will have to be thrifty, smart and innovative/clever in all aspects of this—-everything from bringing cars to market, to how they are promoted, how they’re sold—-even how news releases read, etc. It won’t be easy, but it can absolutely be done right. I hope it’s Mahindra and I hope some of what I’m thinking might actually be accurate. This could be the best possible outcome.

  27. Mahindra would be a good fit, yet there are many “buts” and “ifs” here. Certainly the choice of Lars Carlstrom was a bad fit to start with, and this might have been HIM who chose THEM. In Sweden, reputation is easily lost and hardly won.

    I would really really hope Mahindra is:
    1. Seriously interested in investing in the first place
    2. Interested in restarting the Saab brand for worldwide passenger car sales
    3. Interested in acquiring Saab to develop platforms for Saab cars, Ssangyong SUVs and their own vehicles

  28. If GM can block a sale to the Chinese, what is there to stop them from saying no to the Indian? Unless the new buyer is merely a financier with intention of keeping everything intact in Sweden, thus GM technology will not be transferred out of Sweden? The TATA group is now running Jaguar well and is also making money out of it. I believe, Jaguars are now made in India, no? The complication for Saab is that there is this involvement of GM, otherwise it would be easy.

    • Yes, absolutely, which makes GM a real problem in this entire process. Frankly, I will stick to my guns on an observation/opinion: GM isn’t worried about losing market share in China to tiny Saab and Youngman. That’s obsurd on the face of it. Likewise, I seriously doubt GM thinks shareholder damage will be done by a Mahindra/Saab alliance—-at least not from car sales significantly cutting into their market share. My belief is that GM had owned Saab, in part for 20 years—and in whole or 10—and their own balance sheets show a huge loss on Saab year after year. This happened during recessions and an average economy, as well as incredible prosperity and growth in the 1990s and early 2000s, proving their incompetence in any economic environment. Did they cook the books? It hardly matters. THEIR version of the events is that Saab was a financial loser for them. Fast forward to Youngman or Mahindra taking over Saab and in 2-3 years, showing a small or moderate profit. What would this tell the world about GM? It would expose them for being buffoons—-disconnected automobile industry imbeciles. What did GM do to kill the sale of Hummer to the Chinese? What did they do to poison the deal and prompt Penske to pull out of the Saturn deal? And before you run to the internet to get the “official” accounts spun by GM, try to have some insight and really look into the heart of the matter. They’ve closed Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, Hummer and resisted overtures and outright offers to keep these divisions in business under someone else’s management. What has that done for them? Has their market share increased? If not for taxpayers bailing the moochers out, where would they be?

      • I don’t think selling Saab to a successful new buyer would have made GM look bad, Ford sold JLR to Tata and Volvo to Geely and people still praise Mullaly’s direction and strategy (even despite people like me repeating that keeping Lincoln in favour of JLR and Volvo effectively eliminated Ford from the global premium car market).

        There are more factors at play here and that is why VM might have been right that a deal he structured originally MIGHT have succeeded. For example, Saab was GM’s customer for technology licensing and component sales, which becomes a more and more important source of income for developed world car companies, and as such should have been deemed a positive example of GM’s evolving business identity.

        • The difference is that Ford is doing just fine without a multi-million dollar U.S. taxpayer bailout—-Mullaly had the confidence to get the Volvo deal done—-knowing that it was good for Ford and good for Volvo—-and Ford would emerge healthy and profitable. In the case of GM, they are far from out of the woods—and someone making a success of Saab would be an embarassment and a blow to their ego.

      • GM doesn’t have any Indian partners who might be embarrassed if someone had access to GM’s IP by buying Saab. However I’m sure it will find excuses for making life very difficult for potential buyers. Hopefully the bankruptcy administrators and the Swedish government can find enough guts to tell GM to ‘butt out’ this time?

        Anyhow as others have said, GM seems to prefer that Saab only gets sold to very small players with only a very limited chance of success. This is why it chose Koenigsegg and then Spyker before. This way it can be seen as ‘doing the right thing’ all the time knowing that there is little chance of Saab’s success. But then with GM, there’s always been little chance of Saab’s success anyway.

    • I could well imagine GM blocking a deal with an Indian firm for the same non-reason as they blocked YM. I wonder if they perceive Indian firms as as much of a threat to their IP as they do Chinese firms?

      nb., I don’t think any JLR products are made in India – still all made in the UK and generating some very healthy profits at the moment despite the current economic turmoil. Saab ought to be able to point to that as a good reason for keeping the Trollhattan factory going.

      • Americans do not fear deals with Indian firms the way they fear deals with Chinese firms. India sells very few products here and India is not seen as having taken away our manufacturing base. India is known for having taken some of our phone call centers but that is about it. It may in the future take more of our service business, but then again it may not.

        I could see GM having serious problems with another Chinese company other than the partners it has chosen and not having a problem with an Indian company. In fact, it might see it as a way of getting into the Indian market.

        China might complain and put pressure on GM, but GM is a global company and China may not have the clout to stop GM.

        Most Indians also speak English so they have a far better understanding of the way the west works than do the Chinese. Certainly the Swedish would be able to work with the Indians far easier than with the Chinese.

    • Jaguars and Land Rovers are not made in India. Where do you guys get these ideas?

    • GM sell around 100.000 GM-badged units in India (annual sales 2010) through a joint venture with their Chinese partner SAIC, which is actually just a fraction of what they sell in China and positively laughable if compared to what India builds on a p.a. basis: some 11 million motorised vehicles. This BTW includes cars, trucks as well as automobiles. But these are almost exclusively pretty compact cars from the ex-Daewoo stable such as the Beat (that’s a really butt-ugly subcompact), the Spark and the Cruze, some Aveo and Optra (what he he!! is that?) sedans and a few MPV’s (Tavera, whatever that is) and SUV’s (Captiva). So another ‘NEIN’ based on the position that Saab being sold in India would damage their interests there would sound a little ridiculous, given their model spread and market positioning.


      • BTW, that Optra is the bad old Daewoo Lacetti (a flop in Europe; it was Top Gear’s ‘reasonably priced car’ for a while and kept breaking down as I recall) and the Tavera is an Isuzu midsize small-business truck built in Indonesia and somewhat adapted for the Indian consumer market. No competition for Saab, either of them.


    • Land Rover is made in India, just the Freelander. They come partially assembled and the rest is put together in India. Jaguar is absolutely not, 100% UK!

      • anybody who has worked within GM (I have) will tell you it is a hugely inefficient machine employing far too many people of whom a lot add no value. They also have a shocking record on customer care which will kill a premium brand (which it did). I agree with Angelo they did not want someone to show them up. Lets no forget THEY WERE BROKE the US government had to bail them out….. Shame the Swedish did not do the same!

        • Saabman: I have a friend from highschool who worked for GM (as did others in his family). These were not assembly line workers—-they were management—and not a dealership, but for the corporation. He mimmicks your thoughts exactly. The word “inefficient” has come up over and over to describe GM.

  29. On a totally non-serious note (I am getting punchy from all the back and forth, hopes and disappointments…) –
    I think Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA should buy Saab. Every buyer of a new Saab SC would get the bookshelf “Billy” as a bonus…

    OK, flame me if you must.

    • Consider yourself flamed. But why should another Dutch company buy Saab? Was one not enough?


      • Come on, IKEA is swedish! And its roots are not far from Trollhattan, BTW.

        • Ivo is correct as IIRC IKEA is owned by a deries of Dutch-based holding companies (I think there’s a Holland-based foundation thrown in there as well). Nice fiscal management setup, actually! 😉

  30. I hate to be a Debbie-Downer, but it doesn’t matter WHO, let alone WHAT country is interested in buying Saab. GM will always say NO because they want Saab to simply die and go away. As much as we don’t want to accept it, we need to. GM sucked the technology out of them, made them bankrupt, and its time to move on.

    And the Swedish government better recognize this and take action – FAST! If they never thought it was a political game, well it is now. People’s jobs are at stake, their well-being, their livelihood…and more importantly, their families and future.

    Anything other than a new buyer and a complete restart of the production line in Trollhättan is unacceptable. Act now.

    • The GM bashing really gets old. GM would sell in a heartbeat if the deal is right. They aren’t fools.

      • usually we don’t agree, but i will agree with that statement.

      • While it does seem to be “GM bashing,” my comments were not. I have nothing against GM. It’s just good business in GM’s eyes. But do you really think GM would sell to someone?

        And if so, then to who? And under what conditions? Personally, I don’t think they will.

        • For me, its the GM bashing in general, not any one post. I think GM will sell once the right deal is presented. Sadly, I think time is really running out so this “savior” needs to arrive damn soon.

        • GM would certainly allow the sale to anyone they could partner with to open new markets they don’t have now. But GM can’t allow the sale to someone who would pose some competition for their present partners.

      • They aren’t fools? Wow, I’d say you’re in the minority with that opinion—-and not just among Saab fans, but among anyone who has experience in business, in automobiles, in paying taxes, in life. I hate to break it to you: GM has shown themselves to be “fools” many, many times in the last 30-40 years. They’re fools.

  31. Do you guys not get it? Please don’t tell me out of all of the 72 Comments above, nobody realized what Mahindra is really up to?????

    I will give you a very brief summary of the situation: Mahindra wants to build a dealer network in the United States! They’re getting sued from about 120 of their prospective dealers and the EPA said NO to their truck they wanted to sell here for the 2012MY. They are now trying to work around those dealers by getting NEW dealers. letting Saabs dealer network fail would be like watching a million dollars fall in the ocean in front of you. Thus Mahindra is propelled to make an offer for Saab simply for the dealer network alone, then begin to shuffle in the Mahindra brand as well. Not to say this is a bad thing, but it would need to be clear if they intend on keeping Saab alive or not, along with Trollhattan and dealing with GM.

    Here is a link to the lawsuit claims and such from Trollblog. The dealers who arent suing still have a terrible relationship with Mahindra apparently:

    • This is one of many links I found that said the EPA DID approve the Mahindra trucks for sale in the U.S.:
      I guess there might be later news that the EPA is now saying no? It wouldn’t be surprising, as the EPA can be moody and erratic—-they have crippled more than a few large and small businesses in the U.S.

      • From what I understand, the EPA said YES to Mahindra for the MY2011 pickups, however, Mahindra failed to figure out its issues with its dealers. Therefore, it is a few words short of deciding NOT to bring the trucks here, so they did not register the cars with the EPA for the MY2012. Therefore the potential dealers are pissed and almost half decided to sue, besides other issues the dealer network and Mahindra seem to be having.

        • Ronnie: That makes sense. But I would think if the EPA gave approval for the 2011s—-it might be a formality (unless something has changed dramatically) to get the new models re-evaluated and re-certified by the EPA. Of course, as I said, the EPA is a little kooky quite often and they have a political agenda—-so it’s not a slam dunk by any means.

    • What is wrong with Mahindra wanting the Saab dealers here?

      Obviously the Mahindra dealers are mad that they paid money for a franchise they didn’t get product and have may have a legitimate suit. Obviously Mahindra was unable to make a vehicle that met the EPA standards when they thought they could. Seems kinda odd they couldn’t make the vehicle meet US standards since Mahindra seem to be associated with (owns?) International and Navistar. But who knows what went wrong with the vehicle emission systems.

      Mahindra seems to make very good vehicles so this problem surprises me.

      But the good news is that Mahindra could end up being Saab’s savior and Saab could end up being Mahnidra’s US savior by having an in-place dealer network which could then be expanded to encompass these pissed off truck dealers who would then feel comfortable that Mahindra was going to eventually be able to perform.

      What I don’t understand is why Mahindra didn’t try to buy Saab sooner since they began to default on their obligations to the dealers last May.

      • Maybe Mahindra just got the final NO from the EPA. That would explain getting in the game this late.

        • Could be. I don’t think theirs anything wrong with Mahindra coming in the game this late if their intentions are true. And as already stated, I don’t think there is anything wrong with Mahindra wanting the dealers, but I wish they would take the whole pie, which for some reason, i doubt they want…

  32. Interesting reading Ronnie. All the same, here is something to think about which no one has mentioned as of yet. All most all the remaining Saab dealers in the US, are multi-GM dealers, including mine, who still gets my Saab dollars, and who is about to get even more for a trans job in Feb. Now, how this might impact GM’s thinking about Mahindra is anyone guess? I have no clue, but I’m just pulling that out there. I’m sure all the ” death to GM” bloggers will find something bad about this, and in this case, they might have a point. But I think it is much more likely that if GM has no real market share in India, this might still work. For all Saabers, everywhere, I hope they see the light on Mahindra

    • Plus if GM has no real market share in India, GM could build a relationship with Mahindra to start one. Sounds like a partnership to me.

      • Yes, I sincerely hope that GM would accept an Indian buyer if they cannot deal with the Chinese ones.

        • In TTELA: GM not closed doors for someone wanting to have lisences if it is not against GM interests. There is a chance!

          • To me it looks & sounds like GM is only trying to save face. The mine field laid around Saab is simply to complex a maze to be navigated around. I believe no-one will be able/allowed in to pick up production again.
            Still, look at Ford who works with two Chinese partners and STILL lets Volvo have a lot of goodies from their partsbin and use Ford IP. No issues there – but Ford are car people (as Gerrit said), GM is run by their infamous bean-counters…
            Saab, as we (want to) know it, is gone….

            • If the Saab brand can survive and if the dealerships can survive—they are not gone. They can re-invent themselves, something that is way overdue anyway.

          • I think Magna could be the one that GM would let use the licenses to build the current Saab portfolio.

            I hope Magna can aquire Saab and restart production asap and that they start a cooperation with Youngman to build Phoenix based cars in China. This is a realistic scenario.

    • Exactly my thoughts Chris!


    Has some interesting insight as to Mahindra’s problems getting started in the US. No mention of trying to buy Saab that I see.

  34. Whatever the outcome the only important thing here is that a suitable buyer comes along and starts rebuilding cars in Trollhattan, including new cars based on the Phoenix platform. That is all I really care about. I’m not so much interested in what country the prospective buyers come from – as long as their pockets are deep!

  35. I don’t know if someone mentioned it but Carl-Peter Forster is involved with Tata and he was a supporter of SAAB when he worked at GM if I remember correctly. He may very well see the possibilities for SAAB even though he couldn’t explore them while working for GM.

  36. given saab is liquidating, doesnt it just mean they hold a firesale to pay as much as possible to the creditors?

    if the brand/trademark is not for sale, even if a company bought the saab’s remains, at best, wouldn’t it only mean that technology would be transplanted into another brand?

    without the branding, doesnt it mean saab still remains dead?

  37. Regarding the US dealerships, why on earth would Saab dealers beinterested in selling Mahindra trucks?

    Lets face it, GM just wants Saab gone.

    • Thank you! They don’t want a “partnership” in reaching out to new markets. To GM, Saab is like the x-wife who will hopefully go away once the divorce papers are signed. Oh, and GM gets everything while the poor wife with kids to feed gets nothing. It’s so sad.

    • Saab dealers would be interesting in selling go-carts if that helped them stay in business. Look—–if Saab goes under completely, those dealerships (that are stand alone Saab dealers) will have a couple choices: If they want to stay staffed and continue functioning as car dealers, they’ll need to pick up a new line of cars or they’ll need to become used car lots. Another option is to shrink their staffs and stop selling new cars—-get rid of salespeople, finance, etc. and become repair shops that specialize in Saab but handle other makes. But I doubt they can continue to make rent on large lots/showrooms if they aren’t actively selling. So in some cases, they can pick up an existing line (for example, where I live, Northern Virginia—-there are no close-by Suzuki dealers. I think my Saab dealer would be perfect to pick up that line if it’s feasible for them.). But in many areas, there’s no need for an existing line—-enter Mahindra, trying to establish something all-new in the U.S. Not only would the stand-alone Saab dealers consider this, but I think the multi-line dealers would take it on too. Why not? I doubt there will be a huge financial risk involved. Technical training, sales support, etc. This could be a win-win if it happens.

      • I, for one, think that having a brand new, supposedly decent quality, truck brand in North America could be very interesting. As a salesperson in a dedicated Saab store (we also have pre-owned inventory), I personally would welcome it. It is new, different and exciting. Angelo V is correct in that we have few choices. Our area is fully saturated with brands to the point where there are few if any that we could look at that are not already here. The only ones that immediately come to mind are Jaguar and Land Rover. Everything else is literally taken and here (or soon to be). As far as going to an all used format, we have done that too. We used to be a Saturn dealer, so we have seen this before. It is survivable, but having a brand attached certainly can drive extra traffic and sales via advertising. We have a full state-of-the art service department and body shop – we are a full-service facility. Why wouldn’t we want to expand into something all-new? I know it sounds funny zippy, but if you think of it from our point of view, selling go-carts might not be so bad! :) (btw i hope all is well on the “other side of the pond”)

  38. The ideally would be if SAAB was to be bought as a whole, but it might be a split in the end. Different companies have been mentioned, Magna, Skoda, Youngman, Mahindra,…

    In my view, the one of the above mentioned to wish for is Magna. They have been out looking for a brand for a long time, but failed with both Aston Martin and Opel. Would it not have been for GM putting Opel up for sale at the same time as SAAB, they would certainly been in the race for SAAB.
    On the positive side, they have the resources to keep SAAB alive, they are a major supplier to GM and as such has a better starting point than many of the others, they are into the electrical cars technology (read eAAM), etc.
    On the negative side, they are actually building cars for other companies and might not need the added production capacity, but on the other hand, why are they interested then…

    If not Magna, I could very well see a split of purchases, unfortunately on the bad side for the people in Trollhättan as this will lead to limited or no activity in the old SAAB facilities.

    – Skoda, they have an out-spoken strategy of increasing sales and is (probably) solely interested in SAAB production equipment. The most optimistic view is that they will continue production in Trollhättan of Skoda vehicles, but not SAAB. This is quite unrealistic. The most realistic is that they will buy the production equipment and move back to Slovakia for production there. They will get top-notch equipment for a fraction of the cost of a brand-new production line.

    – Mahindra, they seem to be most intesting in the US sales network. They have the SsangYong company as well. In the ideal world, they would take the entire SAAB, develop it together with SsangYong with different focuses. They paid almost 500 m$ for SsangYong, so they are probably able to put up the (estimated) 1 000 m$ to pay for SAABs all debts (Suppliers, GM, EIB). But can they handle the load of two troubled car makes at the same time?

    – Youngman – save what can be saved. Could they get access to the Phoenix platform and pay the estimated 150 – 200 m$ to finalize and de-GMize it, they would have a good starting point for developing their own cars in China. A possible scenario could be that they keep – for a limted time – a dedicated number of engineers to finalize the work with the platform and giving input to their own vehicles, but a long time business in Trollhättan run by Youngman, I do not believe in anymore. They simply do not have the resources and we have not heard anything from NDRC yet.

    – Spare part sales – of the ones above, the only to be really intested could be Skoda, or rather the VW group. The spare part sales could be integrated in their own spare part sales in Sweden or the Nordic countries. Otherwise, this could be managed by the government or by some local Swedish business. Note, this is a dying business, which will decrease over the years and finally die in some 10 – 20 years time.

  39. The big number of posts about this news make me think it surely is a hopeful one. I have always had the feeling that other companies were waiting for Saab bankruptcy before showing up. I still think the death of Saab is something that could reasonably not occur, Saab’s expertise is a highly valuable and so should be looked for by other parties…
    Let’s hope…

    • You make a good point that I think a lot of us have overlooked. Interested parties might have held off on purpose to get a bargain on the pieces they need—AFTER bankruptcy. This is an “after Christmas sale” on a brand with a legion of strong support. It was like a poker game—-some viable parties waited it out, hoping Saab could still be purchased in some form—banking on the Youngman deal falling through. Maybe they were right and will pay pennies on the dollar and still get the rights to the Saab name, dealerships, manufacturing, engineering—-for far less than if they had been in a bid situation a two months ago.

  40. So much for sticking to facts and not feeding speculation.

  41. I think we’ve to wait for the end of the talks and visits – pre qualification.

  42. I totally agree gunteman. This is exactly the kind of hysteria we all had to endure for the best part of last year. Hopes raised then dashed on so called news that really should not have been posted until verified and official. The peaks and troughs of last year were torturous especially for dealers like my self. Yet here it is again still happening. Please TimR I know you like all of us are busrsting at the seams to bring good news but lets not do it too prematurely.

  43. Why we claim a company coming from a country x is better than a company from y? Every company is its own and companies cannot be classified under one umbrella (I know we tend to think so with GM / Chinese).

    Tata has been a wonderful parent company to Jaguar so far. So they are my favorite if Fiat does not want to enter.

    But why not Renault as they don’t partner with Volvo anymore. They ‘d gain a premium brand and some market share in the Nordics as well.

  44. Secondly if Mahindra are producing all the other possible vehicles from Scooters to trucks but lack a proper passenger car, why not Saab? They can enter the western market with Saab made in Trollhättan and let the Swedes design also a 9-1 and smaller vehicles for the Indian market (of course I do not know the Indian marker).

    • Sorry, Marindha have a full range of passenger cars like Dacia under license and many others passenger cars as well as 4wd vechiles. But little market share outside Australia, India, Latin America, Malaysia, and South Africa.

  45. Tata, Mahindra or any other Indian company is fine by me so long as they have funds to invest in new products.

    It amazes me each day on the way to work when I pass by fleets of vehicle transporters full of new Jaguars and Land Rovers because Tata invested in development and cant build certain models fast enough because of demand in strong products that people want.

    This change of fortune could easily happen to Saab too, but needs to happen fast.

  46. Heres my 2 pence!!

    Tata and Mahindra have been at automotive ‘war’ for a very long time!! Tata has JLR, Mahindra has…well Ssangyong, not exactly prestigious. Anyway I think its their intention to grab hold of a premium brand (well that’s how SAAB its considered in the UK) to give it some competition to Tata. India is a growing market with *VERY young rich business men and women* < I have worked over there, trust me they like their Jags, Bentleys etc. I think it would be Mahindra's ONLY chance to have a luxury motor in India. Im for it to be honest. I don't think the Indian companies are stupid to move production out of their 'home country'. I mean (most) people buy JLR because they are built in Britain, I think the same can be said with SAABs being produced in Trollhatten. For the asian market it would make sense to build a plant in India to make SAABs.

    A side note….. if anybody watched the Topgear India special this Xmas, you can see a glimpse of the rising wealth in India. More so the demand for better cars. I hope this is sorted soon, I really need that new 95SC!!

    • What’s ironic is GM bought Saab right after they failed to buy Jaguar, which was first snatched up by ……. Ford !

      But I agree fully, Mahindra may be wise to buy Saab and gain a lux brand in their portfolio. The game is afoot, I say ! :)

  47. Yes, i certainly think GM had green eyes back then when they lost Jaguar to Ford! Although credit to Ford, they did help Jag (possibly the other way round actualy) to make some pretty special cars bar the x-type <awful!… not as special as a SAAB though :)