Brand Name Talks – Or Not?

As NEVS had their creditor meeting today SvD tried to investigate a bit and asked SAAB AB about the talks between them and Mahindra and/or NEVS since this was stated in the presentation that was shown to the creditors. The answer was a bit of a surprise:

– There has been no such negotiations between Saab AB and foreign automakers and that has been ongoing for a number of months, says Sebastian Carlsson, Media Director at Saab AB.
But the administrator states that you “started exploratory talks” about the continued use of the license in December. Is he lying?
– Yes, the information is not correct. There are no negotiations for a number of months.

Having gotten that info the went back to the administrator, Lars Eric Gustafsson, and confronted him with that statement. Here is his reply:

– As a lawyer I won’t speak untruthful. I have written “soundings” in my statement and I stand by it. I affirm that I have information about it, be it soundings or dialogue.
How important are these talks about the brand for reconstruction to succeed?
– They are important but not decisive. The reconstruction does not stand or fall with it. The District Court will convene in late March for a decision on a possible renewal, says Lars Eric Gustafsson.

Native speakers can read the original article here in Swedish.

So what do we make of that? In court it would be a classical deadlock with two contrary statements. Looking a bit behind it does not bring us any further either. There is no need to deny anything for SAAB AB. On the other hand the admin has no reason to lie either. He is responsible for his statements and he would not risk anything for just a few more months of administrator salary.

It seems to be one of those sit and wait moments (again). Let’s see if more statements on this issue surface in the next days. By the end of March we will know if this story will just be a sidenote or a stumbling stone.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 7 months ago

There aren’t really that many possibilities here. It’s either a misunderstanding/misinterpretation of the question or somebody is willfully lying.

Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Ægir
Member
1 year 7 months ago

Seems like someone wants the captain off the ship before a rescue is launched

2T
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Let’s assume neither is lying : there have been purely exploratory talks and that was several months ago. Saab AB explained their position and that was it. Since then, no further talks took place.

So both say the truth.

But that spells only bad news. If nothing happened between the OEM and Saab AB for months, that’s telling me that said OEM has walked away months ago.

There is nothing to negotiate with NEVS only that justifies over 6 months of ongoing talks.

Hope I’m wrong.

2T

Skipper
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Saab AB has no reason to lie – on the contrary – when there is such a strong statement he is on strikt orders from top management -there has been no meeting for many months – and there will be no more SAAB cars.

The admin is – to some extent – in the same boat as NEVS – i.e. working for the survival of NEVS. He will state something which is on borderline of a lie, to get as favourable impact on the court as possible. He is talking with a salary of SEK 4.500/hour!

Dagen Runt
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Either Saab Ab and the potential OEM investor are discussing a license agreement or not. Mattias Bergman from Nevs recently confirmed the rumours we’ve heard here at SU that the license negotiations are taking longer than expected. He alluded that there are serious talks going on, but I’m inclined to think this is not the case. You’d think that the judges deliberating NEVS’ reconstruction application would pick up the phone and study the case a bit more thoroughly at this point (i.e. call Saab AB and Mahindra for starters). Elsewhere in the internet someone argued that perhaps Mahindra no longer… Read more »
Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago

As there is a Letter Of Intent involved, Mahindra will be wide open for being sued for damages if they don’t tell. As this obviously hasn’t happened, there is no other sensible conclusion than that Mahindra is still on board.

I’m pretty sure the statement about the question about the naming rights is because the question isn’t put to the right person(s), and also, the right person(s) is/are unlikely to answer public questions at this time.

Dagen Runt
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I thought the person at Saab was thei press chief? Hardly a man who wouldn’t know how to address media.

Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Well, he is supplying the offical version, and if you read it carefully he is basically denying only the reporter’s interpretation of what the reconstructor is saying. Actually, he confirms that he is aware that there have been talks a couple of months away.

My guess is that Mahindra got a laundy list of what Saab AB would like to see at that time, and have had informal contacts on a high level since.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
At some point in 2014—perhaps early 2014—KJJ might have started to try to figure out how to extract himself from the NEVS mess but remain relatively whole. My personal opinion is that at some point, he set a goal of getting out of his intact—-and I think his energy is being spent figuring out how to accomplish that. If accomplishing that means Saab survives somehow, that’ll be a nice bonus for us. But if it means closing shop forever, he’s fine with that too, in my opinion—-he’s fine with it as long as he minimizes financial damage to himself. I’m… Read more »
Brian Hamilton
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Long live the King!

SVAB
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Is mahindra really a automaker? They are really a tractor and industrial equipment maker. I could be splitting hairs.

This is a pipe dream, but wouldn’t it make some sense for volvo to save SAAB. They have always tried to make their brand appeal to younger sportier drivers and have failed every time. SAAB instantly offers a brand for that market.

Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Nope. As I see it, they both benefit massively by having a very fair competitor next door.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I suggested a long time ago that Geely should consider buying Saab. It makes so much sense on so many levels.

Paul Willis
Member
1 year 6 months ago
As I said in another post, it’s one thing for companies to sling arrows at each other in a dispute, but when a court is involved, including a court-appointed administrator, then the standard of behavior is much higher. The administrator functions as an officer of the court, in legal parlance, and can be held in contempt of court if he or she intentionally makes misstatements of fact in the proceedings. The reorganization is being administered by the court, not NEVS, technically, and accountants have been reviewing the records and transactions of NEVS, looking for anything that suggests that assets have… Read more »
Skipper
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Hope for what?
NEVS to survive – or future SAAB cars?
Saab AB has made it very clear – no more SAAB:s.

I will keep my black 9000CS MY-97 2.3 T Jubilee “for ever”.

Henry Laettner
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Rolf – Can you state a source that can verify your statement on SAAB AB making it very clear that there will be “no more SAAB:s”? Your signature indicates you might know something we do not. Thanks.

Skipper
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Henry, as I said: Saab AB has made it very clear that they will not allow the SAAB brand to be used on future cars – especially not on cars from NEVS or Mahindra. Since I have followed the actions of the Wallenberg family- who is controlling Saab AB – for many years, I know their track record, and hence their normal behaviour. They wanted – for instance- not kill SAAB by NOT letting NEVS use the brand – which they obvously regretted and withdrew the right, when NEVS did not perform. Normally they should have – openly – talked… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Sounds right on Rolf to be honest…. Sad but most likely the way it is… Everything to date points to your above post…

RS
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Rolf, what’s stopping SAAB AB from starting a car division ones Nevs has gone bust and the plant is on the market? (again)
It must be 100 easier for them to use the same outsourced engineers that have supposedly been working on new Saab models for the last two years…
Heck there could be even something useful there, like smart ideas for hybrid 900/93, 95 hatchbacks and wagons.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Nothing is stopping them…except perhaps, their own lack of desire. They don’t seem the least bit interested in entering the automotive market—-they probably figure it’s more trouble than it’s worth and they might be right.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I would only consider that “unprofessional” if it is untrue.

Dagen Runt
Member
1 year 6 months ago
I for one am concerned about negotiations of licensing rights. The administrator states that the right to use the brand name is a prerequisite to finalizing a deal with OEM1. He then goes to state, at the very end before the appendix bits, that there are no guarantees that Nevs can fulfill their composition proposal towards creditors – it is only likely to happen if OEM1 takes hold of Nevs. In light of that, I am rather concerned when the press chief of Saab AB goes on record the way he did. If I were a creditor or a judge,… Read more »
Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I read the court statement the other way round, the Mahindra deal must be done first,and that they hope to successfully negotiate name rights afterwards.

Dagen Runt
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Marching order: 1) Creditors need to approve the composition in a couple of days 2) OEM1 needs to have the naming rights in order to enter due diligence and finalize any deal with Nevs. 3) if there is no deal, Nevs cannot guarantee they are able to fulfill the composition offer for creditors Now, if Saab AB goes public with a statement that they are not negotiating naming rights with anybody, and you were one of Nevs’ creditors, would you be happy with what the administrator alludes in his report? Plan A is completely dependent upon OEM1 getting the license… Read more »
Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Still can’t read it that way. The court statement has the sentence (context is deal with both OEMs) “However it’s probable that the negotiations could be completed immediately if Nevs can reach a deal with their creditors.” I just can’t interpret this as there should be a negotiation with Saab AB in this time span. Either the name question is already cleared somehow (probably not the case) or negations will take place after a deal with Nevs is done.

Dagen Runt
Member
1 year 6 months ago
I couldn’t find your quote from the admin report. I understand he is often talking about both the oem1 and oem2 (or a and b) at the same time, but to me it is clear the emphasis is on getting the oem1 deal done and thus getting a new majority owner who can start building Saabs again. Below are the bits in the administrator report from which I’ve drawn my conclusions. I read the English version. P 5: drawn out negotiations with oem1 and saab P 6: agreement on new license crucial for oem 1 P11: composition arrengement is a… Read more »
mnztr
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Perhaps SAAB has given Mahindra the requirements for use of the brand, Mahindra is building that into their business model to see if the requirements can be met. The key is, are their ongoing talks between Mahindra (or other OEM) and NEVs. If not, I will kill the reconstruction and shut her down.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
More than likely several months ago Mahindra and Saab AB entertained the license,, Remember what Tim said about the enormous financial commitment Saab AB wanted…. The talks more than likely ended pronto,, because of the gap in what Mahindra had in mind. Nevs at this point is looking at a chinese Oem,,, which may have nothing, to do with Saab cars. Basically more electric crap,,, contractinting production etc, Engineering and development.. Complete different business than we all hoped.. (just a hunch certainly not fact.); Way to many discrepancies,,, Most important Time and not a word or fact about who is… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I just keep hoping that we wake up and log on some morning—-and a big, positive announcement is made, Mahindra has purchased Saab and Saab AB has licensed use of the name, products are planned for within 2-3 years and the plan includes a return to previous Saab export markets.

Patrik H
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Yes, please!

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
That would be great Angelo for sure… Even under the best possible scenario 2-3 years to have the first vehicles would take years for some markets to buy in. The time away and the continuous inept owners since 2009 makes it even worse, for potential dealers to have confidence to invest Major dollars for the line will be a tough sell…. It will cost the new owner if Mahindra or anyone else huge dollars in enticement kickbacks to have any chance. This is a multi billion dollar risk for any new owner. They will need to give future franchisee’s (dealers)… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
My vision for this isn’t a big splash at all. I’m very familiar with Mahindra’s small size. Are they under-capitalized? Well, yes, compared to Toyota or Volkswagen, of course they can’t compete. This has to be run on a shoe string budget with very few mis-steps. Look, if BMW, FIAT, Volkswagen or Ford had interest in bringing Saab back, all bets would be off. We’d have big companies with big cash flow ready to take Saab places they’ve never been if they were involved in this process. Problem is, none of them are knocking on the door as far as… Read more »
rune
Member
1 year 6 months ago
A bit of a catch-22, is it not? SAAB AB, understandably, do not want their names put on cheap deathtraps with four wheels. So they demand that several production lines be set up to accomodate a new 9-5 and a new 9-3. And an investor with deep pockets, understandably, do not want to risk a situation where the brand name situation isn’t 100% resolved. In theory, I suppose one would want complete freedom to pull said brand name into the mud (by producing sub-par products) if need be. In any case, this investment seems to carry few potential upsides and… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
There should be no concern about “death traps on four wheels.” That is not in the plans. I find that a lot of Saab enthusiasts (referred to as “snaabs” by some) are irrational. They think that any car not designed and built in Sweden is a death trap. The problem with that is simple—-their lunch has been eaten by the rest of the world. KIA is making safe cars—-so is Nissan and Ford and FIAT, etc. Everyone from Tata to Hyundai is making cars that are safe enough to be certified in the countries where those models are sold. There… Read more »
rune
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Your definition of a ‘death-trap’ may vary from mine. Saabs have an exceptionally good record in this area. 15 years ago there were many who were considered their equal, but Folksam’s numbers have shown that many of them fell short. EuroNCAP has only one rating for a KIA in the same size class as a 9-3. It falls one star short of the 9-3. That is before you consider such features such as extraordinarily strong A-pillars that keeps the moose at bay. This is an area where even the Germans have yet to prove themselves (according to Folksam a few… Read more »
95saabowneruk
Member
1 year 6 months ago
“Sweden cuts rates below zero as global currency wars spread” this was a headline from the British newspaper The Telegraph. So certain key rates in Sweden are negative meaning your money actually goes down when it’s in the bank! That’s happened because Sweden’s central bank (Riksbank) is desperate to get money out into the real economy – in other words they are desperately trying to get companies to invest in order to boost productivity and demand and avoid another recession. On Saabunited over the last four years there is a lot of discussion about why Saab is in the position… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

numbers Mahindra and Mahindra
Market Cap
$9.87 B
Employees
19,434
Cash on Hand
$705 M *****
Debt
$5.27 B*****
Revenue
$12.37 B
Assets
$14.12 B
Profit
$725.2 M
Employees
19,434

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

A couple interesting reviews. If only they knew what the future held…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heKa6S9-zOM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgpDLX5YAYY

hughw
Member
1 year 6 months ago
So here’s a whole new take on it. Tom Ryner from the blog saabtala.com took it upon himself to get this clarified. He called Sebastian Carlsson from Saab AB who goes on to say: “There are no ongoing discussions between with Us (SAAB AB) NEVS or a new majority owner. There has not been for some months now. However that does No rule out that the discussion we have had was fruitful or that a contact is being kept between us and the proposed new majority owner of NEVS” It appears by not ruling out that some months ago, ”… Read more »
roger
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Nice update!

Paul Willis
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Yes, very interesting, and thank you.

I still say that characterizing the administrator’s comments about this as “lying” was uncalled for.

zippy
Member
1 year 6 months ago

This whole thing is getting rather embarassing if you ask me. Talk about flogging a dead horse.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

LOL. National Electric Vehicles Sweden, “Mo Mandarin” was a non-starter. Tracing the roots of “embarrassing” is easy enough if you begin there.

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