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Mahindra has placed a bid

March 1, 2012 in News

According to two independent sources to SaabsUnited, Mahindra is said to have placed a bid for Saab last tuesday and are working through the bank KPMG. It is said to be a bid for the whole entity of Saab. Mahindra has for a long time been a shut door in terms of information about their dealings with Saab. However our sources are very secure and state that Mahindra is serious about their takeover of Saab.

Mahindra is believed to be able to operate and restart Saab without any licenses from GM.

160 responses to Mahindra has placed a bid

  1. I agree, just because GM owned Saab for 20 years doesn’t mean they knew what they were doing, or even cared. They were concerned with Detroit and that’s it. Their acquisition of Saab appeared to be “look how big we are” syndrome. After all, keep in mind that they went through their own Bankruptcy. I think Mahindra would have a good chance, as long as GM doesn’t find a way to kill the deal. The more I read, the more I think GM is just going through the formalities and just wants to completely kill Saab, because they know it is a better technology! Let’s hope not! I will drive Saab, no matter the outcome!!

  2. At least in the US, Saab for the last few years was paired with Cadillac and they had some very nice showrooms over here. After GM sold Saab, the dealers were kicked out of the Cadillac showrooms and went elsewhere, usually to much less desirable locations. The dealerships here have certainly been downgraded from what they were.

    • David, that was not true for all the Cadillac/Saab dealerships. As I understand it, the only requirement was that Saab could not share a showroom building with Cadillac after a certain point. The dealer had the option of putting the Saab showroom in a separate building. The Cadillac/Saab/Hummer dealer near me just remodeled the Hummer showroom building at the same locaton into a Saab showroom building after Hummer was shut down by GM. I believe a few other dealers took this path also, but others opted to move them to another location off-site as you said, or drop Saab.

  3. I think we all should shed the notion that Saab is a luxury brand and perceived as such. It shoulkd never have been positioned as such but as a (light-)premium. The 9000 was the only model ever that could be regarded as seriously premium (bot luxury) but, just like all the other models, it was positioned too high, pitted against true luxury class and so never became a real success. I guess that was GM’s biggest mistake over the years: positioning Saab too high in the market and asking too much money when the value wasn’t really there.

    Ivo

    • …not luxury…

      • Saab should have been positioned as the best value for your money as a discriminating consumer. Advocate your values, back it up with substance, and figure out how to hold your manufacturing costs down without cheating the customer and without whoring out your name. That right, wrong, or indifferent, is what GM did to Saab. Here take a crappy barely one star chassis and put a saab badge on it. Assume people are too stupid to figure out what you are up to. A turd is a turd no matter how many times you polish it. Even if you successfully polish a turd, people in the industry will call it a polished turd. Literary adept people will read the reviews. Saab had one of the best demographics in the industry before gm bought it. Bad decisions have bad consequences. Fundamentally, Saab’s backers before the acquisition didn’t want to lay out the investments to capitalize the company adequately. GM squeezed it and kicked it down the road. Business is business. Maximization of profits, lie, cheat, and steal.

  4. I’ve mentioned this before, but the eventual owner should consider– *IF* the toolings, stampings and molds still exist, then why not produce a classic 900 body and adapt it to an existing chassis (M&M, Ssangyong, or adapted from a contract manufacturer like Valmet, etc.)? Put modern safety and convenience features in it, sell it at an affordable price, and you will create a whole new customer base while keeping the current one. Old Saab diehards, first time buyers, trendy retro fans (the types who were buying Minis and New Beetles when they first came out), even people looking for a second or weekend car. It would be a stopgap measure to be sure, but it would create a buzz, put Saab in a positive light, get people ready and excited for the New Generations of Saabs to come once the Phoenix is ready, keep cars coming out of THN, and give the dealers something to sell in the meantime. Win-win, all the way around.

    • if the toolings, stampings, and molds still exist to produce the classic 900, you would be able to produce it. It is a monocoque chassis. The styling and outer skin form an integral part of the car. When you go to the newer vauxhall or other vehicles, it is easier to change form lines etc because the exterior of the car is more cladding than structural. Can you imagine the top gear review of the new Saab/Ssangyong?Someone is going to have take the hit to save the name otherwise it won’t be worth anything. I want a Saab, not a substitution. That is what has been going on for the last twenty years. In my estimation, who ever takes over Saab would be well advised to look at it as an acquisition exercise in building a top notch engineering squad who could do wonderful things with car engineering. You would then have to be prepared to do lots of demos of cars being dropped on their tops ala top gear etc. You would also need to be prepared to reboot the brand from the ground up. It might be wise to get Koenigsegg involved because they show dedication to engineering leading the design evaluations. Another words, in 12 months we are releasing a new 900 which is new, and throws out the old. You will never get far unless you break with gm completely. period. end of story. GM, mcpherson struts, non wrap around windshields, super flat back windows with super high and blocking rear pillars. All of this stuff doesn’t make good engineering sense. I will know Saab has resurrected when I see good engineering decisions lead the company. Fundamentally that is why its customers are so loyal to the company. The cars might not be the quickest, the lightest, etc. but when the chips are down, it is snowy, you are in a crash, you rolled over, you weren’t paying attention, the cars have more margin of safety than others. It just makes sense. End of rant. Sorry.

  5. The news from Mahindra and Youngman seems to confirm that, whatever the precise outcome, Saab is going to survive. I am therefore very happy at this moment. If BMW are indeed bidding too, then hopefully a really good result will follow.

    But I thought there was also a Swedish/Scandinavian consortium in the frame (not Volvo/Geely) for buying the whole of Saab?

    • It has been suggested that the enigmatic Swedish consortium ís Volvo/Geely. But maybe not, there was a Swedish group -Catharina- that competed with Spyker for Saab the last time around. Led by a Swedish ex-CEO of MAN, I believe? The name Samuelsson comes to mind but I can’t be sure.

      Ivo

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