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Mahindra still in the game

January 24, 2012 in News

P4 West reports: that the large indian company Mahindra which employs more than 140’000 people worldwide and early on declared its will to buy what is left of Saab has now visited Trollhättan.

The first meeting was canceled by the bankruptcy administrators who referred to other priorities. but at the end of last week a meeting is to have taken place.

Mahindra has appointed advisors to get an overview of Saab, a so called due diligence*

According to sources, Mahindra is interested in buying all of Saab and also interested in producing cars in Trollhättan.

How quickly Mahindra can get a grip of the situation and present a bid is unclear, according to P4 West’s source.
– “They have to work very quickly in order to make a purchase.”

*“Due diligence” is a term used for a number of concepts involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations. A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for acquisition.

88 responses to Mahindra still in the game

  1. Very good news! Mahindra is the big player with tons of money and experience in vehicle industry.

    The news is even better after knowing after knowing that Youngman would still need approval from NDRC (that is what Just-Auto is saying). This fact is worrying me. I know that the Youngman probably have good connections all over China, but this time there shall be no loose ends!

    • Tons of money is needed if a possible restarted production of 9-5 and purchase of 9-4X´s are to be achieved…
      Hopefully GM could say yes to the right commercial setup. BUT if not tons of money and a company structure that fits Saab is more than welcome in order to secure a speedy recovery and R&D of new models on the Phoenix platform.

      Fingers Crossed.

      • Time is of the essence. We need a wowing big, negotiations with GM, full transfer of everything, acceptance, and approval BEFORE every single Saab dealership closes its doors. In my mind we need an announcement NLT Feb 1.

      • what if Mahindra just skip the negotiations with GM and replace GM-parts with parts of their own or other suppliers of engines and gearboxes. easier said than done, i know, but i remember Saab closing a deal with BMW for engines. maybe they are also willing to supply their all-new 8speed auto-gearbox for the NG 9-5?

        just a thought…

        • interesting thought !!

        • I think it would be almost impossible to do in a timely fashion. I dislike using the term “GM-tech” since many of the solutions were Saab designs so its more accurate for us to use the term Saab/GM tech.

          Still, if the goal is to continue with the NG 9-5 and 9-4X, then we need GM onboard. If not, just start with a clean canvas and put 100% of the resources behind the next 9-3.

          • GM has already said they will not license the 9-5 or 9-4x, time to let it go guys, the cars are dead.

            • GM’s spokesperson have said as much — yes.

              That does not mean that the future is set in stone.

              Two years ago (+ a month) they said they would liquidate Saab effective immediately. They started the liquidation process, but Spyker managed to changed their mind before everything was gone.

              Some public pressure might do the trick (again). The way I see it: We will gain nothing by sitting on our hands.

              • Right, GM cares what Saab fans think.

                GM 2 years ago was a completely different company, they came hat in hand to the American public begging for a bailout, to not sell Saab when there were interested parties would have been a PR nightmare. Its a totally different world today, they don’t need a partnership with Saab and the 9-4x will most likely appear as an Opel soon enough.

                Lets take off the rose tinted glasses as well, the 9-5 and 9-4x were introduced to luke warm reviews and have already been lambasted by the press as being GM badge jobs with nice sheet metal. Although good cars, these kinds of models are partly why Saab lost it’s luster with the European buying crowd here in the US, too expensive, not Saab enough and built with parts from the GM bin. For the life of me, I can’t understand why there are Saab fans on here trying to save these two models that are so GM and so little Saab. It’s just my opinion, but Saab and it’s reputation would be far better off if they laid low for a couple years and rebuilt, hitting the ground hard with a car that won’t be handicapped right out of the gate as being too GM. That’s why I want someone like Mahindra to buy the compnay, they can float it while the R&D is done on new models. And yes this won’t be best for the dealers but to continue on as-is when we have hit this low is silly to me, it’s time for a completely fresh start and a true rebirth of the brand.

                • Alex: The core of people (I’m speaking for the U.S.) who are willing to buy a Saab will go away—-they will be in “new hands” in 2-3 years, if Saab goes away now. I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but something needs to be done to keep the dealership network together—-at least most of it, keep a parts supply for current Saab owners and service availability. If this can happen with the 9-3 only—-a little facelift, a few new and interesting colors, a “base” model that costs less—-if they can survive this way, but still in business, while the new models you are talking about are developed, Saab can rebound. But if the dealer network breaks up and people who are current owners can’t find parts, they will not “take a chance” on some newly owned Saab, with unproven owners, in 3 years. It just won’t happen in enough numbers to be viable. No one is going to “restart” a Saab dealer network in North America if the existing one falls apart. They’ll never sell new Saabs here again if that happens.

                • I haven’t seen the lukewarm reviews you mention. On the contrary, there have been great reviews for both cars. It is Saabs financial situation which has led to the cars not winning tests. It has been a question of second hand value all the time.

                • Alex, I remember a test where the 9-5 was said to be most fun to drive and had the best steering feel on the highway (the car actually went straight) in comparison to two Germans and a S80 -if I remember correctly.
                  The only things that dragged Saabs points down was the small(er) diesel engine, interior fit and finish and resale value.

                  The 9-5 was getting an upgraded interior, engine software and chassis/damper setup so things were really looking up for MY12, especially with the SC release.

                • I agree with RS; test result were not bad in Dutch car magazines. It is relatively easy to fix the little issues( interior particularly).
                  One issue for sales is the lease price: due to the very cautious nature of lease companies ( in this case the Netherlands ) the depreciation of the SAAB 9-5 was calculated in such a way that 48K€ 9-5 TTiD had the same monthly cost as a 75K€ BMW 530D ( new model).A financially solid mother company could strongly influence this depreciation.
                  Hoping to be able to trade in my Mercedes R( OK-ish, but not even close to a SAAB driving experience) for a NG9-5 SC with improved interior.

                • I never said the reviews were bad but they aren’t glowing because I have not read one that says it’s a compelling argument to an Audi or a BMW and in the price and size range Saab put itself with the 9-5, it needs to be. Sure you get more car with the 9-5 but at 45k who is value shopping anymore?

                  I loved the 9-5 until I talked to 2 dealers and they both said the same thing, the 9-5 is stuck in a bad place and it won’t sell, it’s too big and expensive for typical Saab owners and it’s not nice enough to appeal to typical Audi and BMW owners. And that’s what I get from the reviews I read, they all say it’s “the best Saab yet” but at the price there are better overal cars. The sales back it up too, the much older 9-3 was still selling far better than the 9-5 the past year, that means people were in Saab dealers, looking at Saabs but the 9-5 wasn’t the right car for the typical Saab buyers.

                  Bottom line for me, it’s a good car but it will never be and never would have been a good seller even by Saab standards, it was too lost in a highly competitive segment.

                  Angelo V: The unfortunately truth is that most Saab buyers have left already and those who are around aren’t going to be taking chances with the purchase of a 45k car until there is several years of stability and truly compelling Saab vehicle to bring them back into dealers. I completely understand the problem with dealers, I think Saab should continue on with the 9-3 to keep service and low sales but I don’t see a point in fighting for the 9-5 and 9-4x, make a splash with the new 900 and let everyone forget about the past, consumers have short memories anyway.

                • PS – all my impressions are based on US market and US reviews.

                • ” 9-5 is stuck in a bad place and it won’t sell, it’s too big and expensive for typical Saab owners and it’s not nice enough to appeal to typical Audi and BMW owners.”

                  As a 2010 NG Saab 9-5 owner I’d actually agree with this. It was listed to high for the typical Saab owner and didn’t have the nameplate recognition to steal sales away from BMW or Audi. That said, I waited until the price (for a loaded 2.8T XWD) was on par with a similar S80 T6 AWD or Acura TL SH-AWD. I didn’t have to wait long, the cars arrived in late July 2010 and I had my deal by mid-October. In hindsight, I should have waited even longer and saved another 5-10K off. These two models (S80 & TL) actually more directly compete with the NG9-5 (IMO). I would say the exterior of the car is certainly in BMW/Audi’s league. The interior is a step below (but not far off the Acura). Ultimately I liked the idea of having a rare car with all the bells and whistles priced in the mid-40’s.

                  I had no idea just how rare the NG9-5 would become.

                • “but at the price there are better overal cars.”

                  …such as?

                  Many reviews compared it with Audi A6 and BMW 5-series. In most (all?) markets, the 9-5 was cheaper than those. The NG 9-5 comes with the most advanced AWD system on the market, a modern suspension (HiPer Strut) setup and is one heckuva ride.

                  It was, however, not marketed. Most reviews were a bit sceptical towards the company, but the car itself received mostly praise. AFAICT there was nothing wrong with the product itself.

                  Usually, a Saab is one heckuva car in the snow and on ice. The 9-5 being no exception. So before any comparison, make sure the cars you compare it with are even capable of basic movement. I was very surprised a year ago when my old 9000 drove circles around a one year old V50. The Volvo never stood a chance in the snow. (a 9000 vs V50 is an Apples and Oranges comparison, but my point is that Saab never made a car that won’t pull you through a Scandinavian winter road)

                  Also worth pointing out that the sale of 9-5s showed an steady increase in many markets. Yes, it started out small, but it kept growing. This is despite the fact that many were waiting for the combi version.

                  As for the 9-4X, it was launched while Saab was really in the squeeze. Did you see any sign of marketing? Its predecessor, the 9-7X sold quite well in the US. There is no reason to think the 9-4X would not have done the same.

                • Rune: I have (among other cars) a Saab 9-5 and BMW 3 Series. The BMW cannot be driven in the snow, period. If there is a whisper of possible snow, that car stays home, safe and sound. When that was my beautiful late wife’s only car (she owned it when I met her—lost her to cancer two years ago) she would have to plan her errands in that car around the weather during the Winter months. She would be scared if she was out and an unexpected snow flurry hit the area. In contrast, the Saab is a sled. Good grip, pulls through snow, competent unless the amount of snow is crazy. Frankly, I don’t like driving any of my cars in bad weather as stopping isn’t easy, even in a 4WD—-and you can never predict the stupidity of other drivers, especially on snow and ice. But my point is that your post is right on target. My Saab 9-5 is a wonderful car—-it does so many things well—-great fuel economy, plenty of power (it’s an ’04 ARC wagon, 220 HP, which is more than enough for my driving), super comfortable on long trips, lots of space for a beach vacation—-I’ve had that car since it was new (we bought it when my wife was pregnant with my son and drove him home from the hospital in that car). I still love driving the Saab (and BMW). They are simply well engineered cars that I don’t get tired of.

              • dcpattie: I completely agree with you. The styling seems to always be the car’s big selling point, it’s going to be a standout for years to come. Positioned as a competitor the S80/TL area of the market, the 9-5 is top of the class and becomes a very compelling purchase. The S80s interior is far nicer but with some tweaks the 9-5s would have been good for this price point and the driving dynamics would have been nipping at the heals of the big boys, buyers would have gotten past the interior. It’s an old argument here but 10k cheaper and I think it would have been a hit.

                • Of course the problem here is/was that SWAN/Spyker could not sell every NG 9-5 for a $10K loss and be a viable business. I agree that for $10K less, it would’ve been a hit, though. I guess that’s where our Chinese/Turkish/other 2nd or 3rd world country parts could really come in handy, sadly.

              • I hear you Baver. The problem was the big jump in price compared to the pervious 9-5. I understand it was a quantum leap in terms of technology but European cars generally stay within the same price bracket. You can go back to the mid 80’s and find 3-series starting in the 30’s, 5-series starting in the 40’s. This is still true today. So when the 9-5 Aero goes from 35-38K to 48K (base) it was a big problem for Saab. They didn’t have time to slowly build their niche.

                I always remember the first Lexus LS from the late 80’s. 7-series room, MB (or better) refinement starting in the mid-30’s. Yes, Toyota could take a loss but people flocked to it because of the tremendous value. The LS didn’t stay in the mid-30’s for long and now sells at about the same price as a 740i. Saab could have done the same thing with the 9-5 if they had deeper pockets and a longer timeframe until profitability.

                • Yes, this would’ve been ideal. I know that I was shocked when I saw the sticker on the NG 9-5. The one I ended up with had an MSRP of $56K and no rear entertainment. My 2003 had a sticker of $35K and I paid $31K. It also had real wood veneer inside. Volvos also went up in price considerably with their S60 AWDs. I leased a 2007 S60 AWD with a price of $30K and a few months ago it was around $42K. Of course, the Volvo is also a new design and at least around here, does not seem to moving well. I’ve only seen two in the past year. I did get a good deal on my ’11 Aero XWD, but I needed to fly 2/3 of the way across the US to pick it up and drive it home. Is is worth the $40K I paid for it, absolutely. Would I do it again, knowing that GM held as big of a gavel as it did, probably not. I don’t deal with uncertainty too well.

                • That’s what’s is funny Baver, the S60 is selling really well actually, they have been moving well over 2000 units a month in the US, even at that high price and being not such a big car. In defense of the S60 though, it’s a very high quality product, the interior alone is at A4 levels of quality and as much as I hate to say Volvo has a much better reputation in the US.

                • Anyway thanks to dcpattie and baver and all the customers that actually bought the 9-5, which IMHO has the best design in this segment and that hasn’t changed a bit since 19 December. Even more remarkable is the fact that in ten years from now the 9-5 will still look good as the OG 9-3 and 900 and 99 etc does.

                  The MY12/13 Saab 9-5 had many (as always with Saab) changes that would affect both the powertrain, as in a hybrid version, as well as an updated interior and infortainment module etc. So add that with the 9-5SC in the lineup…well the future might have looked bright.

                • Alex740, Wow, I’m really surprised Volvo is selling that many S60s in the US. I see a lot of XC60s and XC90s. The build quality was very good and the warranty was excellent, but I wasn’t crazy about the exterior design – at least from the back. I tried for two months to get one with AWD and a wood interior and would’ve had to fly all the way across the US to pick it up in CT. I wasn’t willing to do that, but I was willing to fly to IL and get a 9-5 without wood. The S80 just looks dated, but I have been seeing more of those around town.

                  Lundin, it’s too bad we won’t see those MY12/13 9-5s, with a few modifications, this car would’ve/could’ve been a top pick.

                • If the S60 is based on the same platform as the horrible V50, then it is ridiculous to compare it to any Saabs currently on the roads. A nice interior won’t help you push the car through the snow (unless it can do motivational speeches or something).

                • Rune, I had to google it up. They say the S40/V50 is based on a Ford platform -which explains a lot- and that the V60 would be based on a ‘real’ ovloV one. So there is hope for the owners of that car, I guess.

                  On the subject of NG 9-5 I must vent on one thing; Why oh why are people saying a car is ”not competitive” if a few plastic panels on the inside do not match Jaguar’s color scheme. If people would actually drive the cars for some time they may notice a few other FAR MORE important characteristics in a vehicle.
                  I bet if all the A6’s, BMW’s and Merc’s in the world would only come with a GM interior which car would be the pick of the lot after lets say 10k miles???
                  I bet a huge number of people would take the 9-5 screaming.

                  To say the car is not competitive just shows how warped the car business is today. You can basically take any crap platform and chassis, put trendy looking body parts, a turbo engine, DSG and a sporty interior (but totally unfunctional) and you have a car that gets the praises and sells like crazy when it’s in real life and after some time is utter crap. Have things like red instrumentation, bad seats, uncomfortable ride, poor visibility, bad sound proofing, low quality materials and parts, rust problems, electrical problems due to corrosion, crappy heater and bad air distribution etc. etc. But nooo those things are totally irrelevant in a car for everyday use…

                  This is why our family only drive SAABs.

                • @RS, that surprises me a bit. Vi Bilägare made some comments last year concerning the V60 which I thought at the time seemed to reflect my experience with the V50… More information needed! :)

                  As for the interior — I could not agree more! The only thing I miss in my 9-5 is the unfolding cupholder. Would have been nice to have the interior they presented at Frankfurt when the 9-5 was first shown, but nothing I think about as I use my car. During the winter months I press the night panel button and watch the road. I don’t look at the panels.

                  And yes… Bottom line: When buying a car, the safest investment would be to buy what everybody else buy. It is also, by far, the least exciting choice.

                  When I get out into the parking lot and see my 9-5, my first thought is “YES! I get to drive that one!”. This morning I passed a bunch of cars that had blocked up the fast lane going through a corner. They had to slow down because the road was a bit slippery — I didn’t.

                  If my goal was to make an investment, I would not have bought a car at all.

                • @Rune, you mean this one:

                  “Volvon är orubbligt stabil på hårt underlag, men har svårt att hitta fäste i spårsnö.
                  Saab 9-5 verkade däremot oberörd av väglaget. Vi var imponerade allihop över hur följsam och spänstig den var att köra.”

                  So, we can clearly see the 9-5 is a totally useless no good car that never should have been developed by SAAB… Geeze.
                  So the V60 was the better winter car because it had a bigger -although smallish- trunk than to the 9-5 Sedan. *shaking head*

                • @RS: Yes, that one. :)

                  In my test, one car was 100% unable to drive on the road I needed to go. The other (9000) had absolutely no problems whatsoever. The difference in handling was night and day. As I said, a nicer interior (whatever that is) won’t help in such a situation.

                • Rune,
                  my investigations have shown me that the S40/V50 are based on Fords C-Platform (Ford Focus/C-Max/Kuga), which has been developed in Köln by Ford. The S/V60 on the other side is based on Fords C/D-Platform (Mondeo,V70) which has been developed by Volvo in Göteborg.

                • Responding to some of the comments: Yes, I have been saying for YEARS now, that Saab needs a lower priced car to get people in the family. As far as people in the $45,000 range not caring about value, I disagree with that. They aren’t looking for the cheapest alternative, but they still want to feel as though they are getting the most they could and the best match for their wants and needs for the price they’re paying. DC Pattie is right—-as BMWs have evolved, their sticker prices have stayed the same or gone up slightly—-the 9-5 pricing leaped—-at exactly the wrong time. Terrible timing, not that Saab had control over the global economy—-but again, less glitz and a lower price would have sold more cars. For Saab to have a future, they need to sell some lower priced cars—-either new or rebadged smaller cars at just above entry level—-or deconteted versions of their current model(s) (possibly just the 9-3 will be left) with lower sticker prices to begin with. Come in with a more basic base model—-more people will be willing to try a Saab. The 9-3 is a flexible line of cars—-a lot can be done there, until something new is ready for market.

              • about the S60 moving well in the US – remember most of those are the T5 version which starts at 30K. I had two 2011 S60 as loaners recently. One was a base T5, the other was a T6 AWD R-Design. In T5 guise its very utilitarian but not necessarily in a bad way. The R-Design is an absolute rocket-ship. The brakes are great and the motor is an absolute monster. The Polestar T6 is just amazing. My chief complaint was the GearTronic transmission and like the NG 9-5, the auto doesn’t match revs during manumatic downshifts.

                • Thanks for the sanity check—-YES, I see plenty of BASE MODEL Volvos here in Northern, Virginia. Talk to Don Beyer about what’s selling. People (young families) want a safe car for as low a price as the manufacturer can offer it—-which is why Volvo sells T5 S60s here frequently. They have a small hatchback too—-that young professionals will buy instead of a compact domestic or Volkswagen or Mazda. Saab should have been attacking this market—-they’d still be in the mix right now. But going head to head with Audi and BMW at 50K was never going to work and it still won’t. Have a flagship at that price the way that Hyundai does—-but to try to make that your bread and butter offering? Not at Saab. How can it even be argued? They’re bankrupt. They need to survive this and CHANGE what they were doing. Repeating the same mistakes will only repeat the dark results.

  2. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel!!

    Keep calm and carry on!

    Saab UP
    Griffin UP


  3. Let us realize that a Due Diligence of a company is a serious and cumbersome work that takes time.
    To do this for a company like Saab is not something that can be doe overnight while very complex.
    So if time is money; YM has still the best cards while they do know all what Mahindra still needs to figure out.

    • If, as someone yesterday posted here, Youngman’s objective is to move operations to China and only sell Saab cars in China, they are really of no use to the community—-unless you live in China or plan to move there. I’ve heard that Mahindra wants a world-wide plan. That sounds better to me.

    • Not necessarily. The Receivers will have completed much of the work that would otherwise be involved in due diligence.

  4. Mahindra would be my first choice

    • I just want a solution as quickly as possible; no specific company is my favorite as long as that company has a long term strategy and keeps the company intact in Trollhättan.

    • Likewise!

      I hope Mahindra does what Tata did to Jaguar. Jaguar/Land Rover is flourishing under the ownership of Tata of India.

      What is the difference between Ford and GM in selling businesses to Chinese/Indian people? I mean Ford sold Jaguar and Volvo to these companies. And Volvo has a lot of Ford technology. Did these companies pay well for the technology and in Saabs case everyone want the technology free?

  5. Good news indeed. I guess we will hear more of Mahindra in the coming days/weeks, perhaps something like clear intentions and plans.

  6. I like the Expression “Keep Calm and Carry On”, but now I only see myself 80 years old with a walking cane repeating that expression over and over again. That would be in the year 2046……..
    Positive news………..soon………please…………

    • I think the keep calm and carry on phrase has served its purpose, we’ve kept calm and carried on for two long, its time for something new…

      • I think it has already been replaced by “never ever give up”

      • Absolutley, “Keep Calm and Carry On” has run its course. The only thing we’ll be “carrying on” is the luggage and other possessions we’ll need to “carry on” cars who pick us up while we’re hitch hiking—-if there isn’t a resolution to this mess in less than a month—-and that’s being generous.

  7. Magna would be my choice, they would not have any problems with GM and have very deep pockets!

    • I agree. Starting out with the Trollhattan factory and later on adding one in Canada that produces the future SUV / Crossover vehicles…

    • I agree – they also seriously lack a saloon (sedan) and combi from their range, which comprises to many SUVs. They could easily develop a new SUV with SAAB`s expertise to replace the GM 9-4X.
      They also have considerably more experience of actually making cars than the Chinese interested parties and they
      have the money, but they won`t pay over the odds for SAAB. The administrators should do all they can to expedite Mahindra`s interest.

    • I’m not sure Magna would be acceptable to GM. Despite going down the path a long way, GM ultimately decided not to sell Opel to Magna (or anyone else). GM would impose the same or similar conditions on Magna as it did on Spyker/SWAN, and that could well deter any buyer without really deep pockets *and* a large untapped market to exploit (e.g., China, India, or Turkey).

      • GM only decided not to sell Opel at all. The idiots were about to sell it, not realizing a huge amount of their vehicle development was done by Opel and selling it would cripple all their new car programs. This is why that one CEO was so short lived.. he had NO CLUE. As much as I would like Magna to buy SAAB and think it would be a great fit.. I have heard nothing official to indicate they are remotely interested. :>(

  8. GRIFFIN UP, SAAB UP !!!!!!!

  9. Whatever it takes get it done fast! The US network is about to come crahing down.

    “Get Rid Of GM COMPLETEY”

  10. The receivers have to decide at a time in near future to get a deal to relaunch Saab or waste time with further negotiations.
    If Youngman still need an approval than it’s not a binding bid. So we see time go by to a decision.
    Mahindra will do their due diligence (which Youngman did in 2011). So they should be both timely in the same position.
    I’m not sure about Brightwell. I haven’t read anything serious on them here.
    What about Magna? Do they place a bid?

  11. Hmm… the confirmed parties that will make, or are considering making, a bid for all of Saab are now Youngman, Brightwell and Mahindra. Perhaps others also? The receivers did say there were multiple parties that had expressed interest. This is about the best the news could be right now, I guess.

    The only thing that makes it more difficult now for a restart is the GM IP question and what to do about the distribution network that is quickly coming apart in several markets. Hopefully a buyer can be approved in the next month.

    • The individual dealership bankruptcies is the number one issue as I see it. If 50% of the Saab dealership network cannot survive the next 2 months then its pretty much an irreversible death (at least for the U.S. market).

      • maybe, or maybe not. Apple for example has now build its own quite successful distribution channels. Just a question of money.

        • That money is cost-prohibitive. I think for a company like Mahindra, getting the dealer network is a big part of the deal. Without the dealership network intact, why bother? If they have to spend tens of millions setting up a distribution network, that’s where the budget will be—-not in buying rights for the 9-3 and PhoeniX, which is still a ways off.

  12. That may be true but the whole is rapidly degenerating to parts and into oblivion. Right now the bankruptcy lawyers are acting like emergency room doctors who are trying to figure out how the patient can pay his bill while he is bleeding to death…..

  13. Any buyer, really needs to look at what GM’s roll will be in a new Co.

    Wisely, if I was them, I would spend the next 1-2 years getting rid of anything GM related, in all models.
    GM, simply cannot be trusted, in any way…..

  14. If you have been following auto news here in the US, you know that Mahinda has been trying to get their light trucks sold here for several years now with many setbacks and bad deals with distributors. The purchase of Saab would give them a dealer network to do it with and a world wide brand to enter all kinds of other markets as a company. They have the money, they have the size, and they have the know how to run a car company, my fingers are crossed!

    • Agreed and I have maintained the Mahindra offers the most for people who want to see Saab survive and thrive—-but yesterday’s news about the U.S. dealer network was/is sobering. If something doesn’t happen in a couple weeks, Saab sales in North America are doomed forever. Sure, anything is possible—-but realistically, if the dealer network goes under, no one is going to restart, from scratch, a Saab dealer network, here or anywhere. General Motors knows this, which is why they let Saab spin their wheels for so long before declaring that they won’t get behind the deal with Youngman because of technology in China. Have you noticed that GM has now broadened that to include “anywhere” their own sales can be compromised? The pigs at GM are dopey, but they’re devious enough to stall and start, stall and start (like their cars). It’s run Saab down to where we are now—-hanging on by a fingernail. The fact is, there is a sense of urgency now—-the ship is sinking quickly. There’s still a small window of time to pull off a miracle, but that time is almost over. If we go deep into February still floundering around, I really see no realistic way that Saab as we know it will ever return. As well, if Saab is “sold” after that, it will likely be for China only—-or Turkey only—-or something like that—-probably no Saab name and even if there is, no availability in the markets that now have Saab. I have been among the most optimistic of all—-and I still think there’s a chance something can be worked out soon—-but optimism in my case won’t extend to stupidity or fantasy.

  15. Please. Please. Please let this happen. I’ve been a bit numb ever since Saab declared bankruptcy refusing to believe that Saab would never build another car again.

    Saab Up!!

  16. Went shopping at the Överby mall a couple of hours ago. Met 4-5 Indian gentlemen. One of them had a pin on his collar. I believe it was a Mahindra logo..

  17. 3 type of buyers:
    Foreign – YM, BW & M&M
    Foreign & Swedish -?
    Swedish – ?

    I wonder if Koenigsegg with norweigan money could make a bid?
    What happen to other developing big markets like Brazil, wouldn’t embraer be a nice fit….
    What abt Victor and the Turkish connection,

  18. Magna article – after scanning the web this is the only article I could find that indicated Magna interest in SAAB, but from the sounds of it they don’t seem too interested in building SAABs –


    M&M has extended their stay in Sweden. Either the due diligence takes longer than expected, or they want to speed things up. (My thought)

  20. Due Dilligence in such a complex Administration can take weeks I doubt it’s that I simply think they are understanding the costs associated with buying a car company that has nothing it can produce. Both YM and M&M could probably do it…who’s best? Probably the one with the most cash.
    Re the Dealer Network specifically the call from some in the US that “something must be done to save it”
    It is Sad I agree, but qrftrfruite what can be done to save a cashless subsiduary of a cashless company with no product to sell is beyond me-its also beyond most administrators which is why it has been wound up. I love Saab, I even quite liked the new 9-5 although it still had a long way to go to get back to the truth of the brand, but it was not enough to save Saab. in the time it takes to make something better (like the PhoeniX900) sacrifices will occur and it “if” it happens it will look like a re-birth from nothing. To continue to develop or maintain the sales infrastructure until that day comes is simply a waste of money required to develop a product capable of sustaining a similar structure in the future. Saab has to prioritise its engineering development and the product. When my new Saab 900 gets built I will be happy to collect it from Trollhatten irrespective of any network, I admit I am unusual, but if the model succeeds there will be folks in every country queing up to sell it.

    • Toby: I think you are grossly underestimating the cost to start from scratch to sign on dealers. In today’s money, it’s astronomical. As it stands, there are still some stand alone Saab dealers in the U.S., serving areas like Harvey’s Lake Pennsylvania (and the nearby “metropolis” of Wilkes-Barre). It’s the oldest continually owned Saab dealership in the U.S. There are other places like International Saab in Falls Church, Virginia—selling to diplomats in Washington, DC. And more around the country. To start from scrach with no real estate rented, or buildings/showrooms/service bays, no factory trained technicians, no parts departments established—-it’s a task that a small and unproven concern with limited resources just will not be able to manage. Will some dealers selling other brands sign up? Sure, there will be some. But they might not want to make the big investment either—-as even with staff already hired, there’s a big cost to taking on a new car line. Sure, Acura and Lexus (and Infiniti) were start ups—-but they had huge and successful corporations behind them, already deeply immersed in the business of making and selling cars worldwide. In fact, Infiniti was not immediately successful and Nissan had to shuffle significant money around to take them through the early years. Honda and Toyota pumped huge money into their new luxury brands. Ditto with GM and Saturn—-money that someone like Youngman could never burn through, especially with no immediate profits, and there won’t be any—count on that. Trying to salvage what is left of the dealer network and selling some 9-3s—-tightening the belt for a few years—-getting by with limited advertising and limited product—-but being smart about it and using guerilla marketing tactics on the cheap—-might be a wiser approach. Continuity is crucial—-a vital component if they are to ever sell another Saab in North America.

      • It was sad to read the goodbye from Shaw Saab outside Boston, but I was encouraged to see that at least a couple of US Senators are looking into the US Saab situation. Again, I would encourage all US SU members to contact their Senators and Representative and have your concerns/suggestions heard. Email addresses are very easy to find, although telephone calls may be most effective. I contacted my three today…

        Letter from Shaw Saab…

  21. I still think GM might have some interest in licensing to Mahindra. GM has not done well in India and Mahindra’s efforts to get established in the US have gone nowhere either.

    But the big draw for Mahindra is US dealers and a dealer network. How many of these dealers could hang on long enough to really help Mahindra is the question. Maybe many would have no choice but to wait if they have no other business alternatives and they don’t want to go out of business.

    The Indian car market has probably a greater upside than even China and since GM has not done well there, maybe GM can find a way to cut a deal. But to keep US dealers in business there needs to be product ASAP, and that means GM licensing. Will GM license to Mahindra? Who knows? Would GM consider Mahindra a real threat to GM sales in the US? That could be the deal killer.

  22. Its a part of time and Mahindra will take necessary action ad efforts to overcome the situation.
    Second Hand Mahindra Cars