Rumour Thursday: Mahindra No Longer Interested?

Today SVD ran an article basically stating that Mahindra already backed out of the negotiations with Saab last November. Just a day after the reconstruction was prolonged this again looks like bad news but even though I regard Jonas Fröberg as one of the better informed authors when it comes to Saab some of the statements in the article make me wonder.

The theory that the article builds up is based on a source that seems to be from among the consultants that work(ed) in the reconstruction process. One key statement is that while Saab AB wanted to get fees for the right to use their brand name Mahindra had expected to get it for free. This is said to have ended the discussions because Mahindra (and their business plan) was not prepared for that. It is hard to believe that and I doubt that Mahindra would be that blue eyed. Nothing in the business world is for free and the right to use a brand name ususally costs serious money.

The other rather strange statement is that Mahindra only signed the non-binding agreement with NEVS to help them enter reconstruction and avoid instant bankrupcy. Again, I find it very hard, if not even harder, to believe that. What should drive Mahindra to sign a paper like that when not intending to act accordingly. It might even put them in danger of legal actions since this was one main reason the reconstruction was granted.

When SvD contacted Mikael Östlund he declined to comment on rumors but stated clearly that “negotiations with two automotive manufacturers are ongoing”. Saab AB did not want to comment on the article either.

I’m afraid we will have to wait and see (again) until more info sheds more light on this. But still, with this being the second article from SvD that attacks the credibility of NEVS and others in the process I feel like using a loose quote: something smells in the state of Sweden…

Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Yes, I find it hard to believe that the reconstuctor would risk being expunged from the bar. The article also reiterates the same claim that Nevs lied that according to saabtatas interview with Sebastian Carlsson was a false statement. Which means that only one of SvD or saabtata can be telling the truth. And, from circumstantial evidence, everything points to saabtata being right ant SvD being wrong. The statement that Mahindra should have written a fraudulent Letter Of Intent with the intent to mislead the court is very hard to believe (the articles Swedish verbatim text actually says this, and… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
It would certainly be mind bending if Mahindra assumed no fees would be attached to using the Saab name—-or if they had no provisions in their business plan for the possibility of fees. That seems crazy to me. Still, if it’s true that they’ve backed out, it certainly supports what Doug R. has been predicting/saying. Truly, if the Saab story ends this way, it will be tragic. I would have rathered see them go out with Muller—-on a product high note and money troubles—then going out with NEVS, with complete stupidity. Considering the product line of the Muller days, they… Read more »
Ægir
Member
1 year 6 months ago

+1

Red J
Member
1 year 6 months ago

SvD, a serious Newspaper that still uses pictures of Saab cars when talking about SAAB AB!!

I don’t have nothing against the Swedish Press, but sometimes I feel like they only try to sell newspapers no matter the effects of the text they publish.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
This is one of those times I wish I was wrong about prior statements I made about Mahindra. Far as Mahindra being sued for signing a letter of intent highly unlikely… An intent is just that. Mahindra may have proposed use of the brand name and was willing to pay a royalty per unit.. In this case per vehicle. Incentives and volume based etc. If x was reached Saab AB would receive a minimum annual fee plus royalties . Just a simple deal, money would be made for SAAB AB dependent on success no guarantees. If Mahindra did propose something… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Well said Doug. I continue to hope for the best, but the longer this goes on without a resolution announced, the greater the likelihood is that you have been right for many months now. I had a strong belief (and I still do) in what Mahindra can do with the Saab name—-I see it as a perfect fit—a medium sized company—-a small upstart car company, but established enough in some markets that they are making decent little runabouts—-wanting a global expansion and knowing it would be far easier to accomplish that with an established, familiar, European luxury sport name, Saab.… Read more »
hughw
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Someone is not telling the truth….and I suspect it’s SVD…at least not the whole truth. It would truly boggle the mind that the court and the various attorneys would go along with this charade regarding reconstruction if Mahindra has been gone for months…SVD demonstrably didn’t get the story right about the negotiations…they probably screwed up this one also. Stay tuned…this should be interesting about who ends up eating their hat.

Patrik H
Member
1 year 6 months ago

This never ends. Why so secretive?

hughw
Member
1 year 6 months ago

What’s really sad is an indication of how far Saab has sunk is that so far there have been only 8 comments to what’s arguably significant news, true or not…years ago, there would have been a hundred by now.

zvovesny
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Your concern is right, but I’m still here with the comment no.9

hans h
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I’m here. I just didn’t really believe the SvD story. Perhaps others did the same?

I just bought a nice black 2010 9-5 SC 2.3t Griffin BioPower so I wont have to use the nice black 9000 2.3T everyday, so I won’t leave. No way! 🙂

reindeer
Member
1 year 6 months ago

+1

reindeer
Member
1 year 6 months ago

+1
Congratulations! Wow a 2010 9-5 SC Griffin Biopower, awesome! Would love to see it in action on SOTW 🙂

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
hughw,,, Its pretty much it,, its indicative of my above statement… The real question how many would come back? The cost to bring back the brand in marketing dollars has tripled since 2011 for any serious Oem It can be done with the right cars and business philosophy. It still comes back to Saab AB.. How bad do they want to be attached to the car business and willingness to make it work… Also a OEM who is willing to spend billions and believes it can succeed and needs the SAAB name to do so… AS time passes the name… Read more »
kochje
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Doug, I did like your comment from yesterday very much but was too blazed away by it that I did not comment. But you did very well describe the whole scenario and there is in my opinion a lot of truth in it.
Future will tell.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

kochje thanks,,, I am just trying to come from a business perspective… Believe me I want something positive to happen.

kochje
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Understood, feel the same:)

MeanSabean
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I guess Tim left because he knew the end was near!!!!!

SaabKen
Member
1 year 6 months ago

He didn’t leave. He defected. In a BMW.

Sensonic
Member
1 year 6 months ago
I guess he got frustrated because of the state of affairs. I’m still committed to SAAB, sincerely hope NEVS could be able to produce SAAB cars in the near future but just couple of days ago I did something I would’ve never dreamt of 3-4 years ago: I ordered a Volvo V70 Classic as my next company car. As a die-hard SAAB fan I always sweared I’d never order & drive Volvo but the salesman made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. So in the future I’ll be driving both SAAB and Volvo but I’ll keep my thumbs up that… Read more »
zippy
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Volvo’s are still made in Sweden and by the looks of their upcoming XC90 and the amazing reviews it has had here in the UK looks to be ‘on the up’. My next car will probably be a Volvo or, dare I say, a BMW but thats a long way off as my baby only has 69000 miles on her and will last for ages yet!

Stefan G
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
This is where Koenigsegg should step in and buy what is left. Last time there was too much for him to be interested since he never wanted the whole package. Things have changef when saab parts was sold off. I think the saab brand would be no problem if he wanted to use it since his own brand has always been of pure premium sport quality and they never do things half way. Also he stated in press that koenigsegg might start building “regular” cars in the coming 5-10 years. He could really need the factoty for that and develop… Read more »
Coke is it
Member
1 year 6 months ago

At this stage with no dealer network it would cost Koenigsegg to much money to bring back Saab. It really would be great if Koenigsegg would like to cooperate with the new owner of Nevs (what a silly name this is) and bring technology in to Saab and for Koenigsegg to get some help from the skilled engineers at Saab to develop things to go into Koenigsegg’s cars.

I’m still dreaming of a bright future for Saab… but my dreams are getting cloudier and darker… I guess they soon will transform into nightmares.

roger
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Imagine a first step with a small car (9-2x size) and a badge that says “SAAB – by Koenigsegg”

It would sell like ice cream in a sunny day.

Stefan G
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Maybe bringing back SAAB to what it once was is too much of a effort for anyone. I was more thinking in terms of Christian stepping in and building up something new from scratch using what is left of Saab combined with his current staff. Starting small and taking his time by doing it step by step. There would be plenty of synergies for the Koenigsegg supercars and a lot of knowledge and tech to be put into the “regular” cars to make them more attractive to customers with a large wallet.

aap
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I wouldn’t mind buying a Koenigsegg instead of a Saab.

Peter95
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Just a thought….. Is Qoros one of the OEMS in discussion with Nevs? Either for manufacturing their cars at Trollhattan or (now this is a way out thought) to badge their cars Saab in Europe?

Qoros have lots of ex Saab working for them so they have good links with Nevs.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Peter95 That is my thought,, 25 to 30 top engineers from previous Saab was hired to design their cars…. This may be the deal or other manufacturer..

Peter95
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I had the opportunity to go but China isnt the same as Sweden

Also I suspect BAIC are also trying to buy or are standing by to buy the line / tooling if NEVS does go bust

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Peter 95 if Nevs comes out of reorganization I assume they can pursue any business model they see fit. Sell buy etc. contract production for other makers, Sell the 93 estate tooling etc… Remember as of now they are not Saab so certainly they can try to regroup losses etc.

Mitch
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Look, let’s keep this simple and above all, in perspective. This is reportedly a rumour and may be just that. Mahindra is a talented front office pair who are a very capable ivy league educated team of MBA’s, which does carry some merit and credibility. This is a slow process and likely more in favor than an expedited shift to immediate engineering and re-structuring. My speculation is that if the dialogue between NEVS, M and M, and Saab AB completely halted, we would know at this point. The critical questions and issues are dealer networks in the US, as most… Read more »
Paul Willis
Member
1 year 6 months ago
This is like a soap opera (well, the ones on US TV at least) where there are secret liaisons and rumors of who is with whom and cloak and dagger deceptions. This is pretty disturbing information, even if it is hard to tell who is telling the truth (or the whole truth). But it does align with the comments from SAAB AB reps that no licensing negotiations with a manufacturer are still continuing, so it does lend some credence to that statement. Again, however, its hard to know what is really going on, and it is hard to believe that… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Paul maybe Reality TV would be a better way to describe it… Remember Mahindra wasn’t the only OEM… I think they did walk,,, they may have realized the financial requirements for the venture may have been out of their league.

Long as Nevs has something in play for future business, whatever that may be with some sort of cash infusion pending it doesn’t have to be Saab related. The Creditors figure a chance at half of repayment maybe is better than 10 percent in a fire sale.

zippy
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Dont get me wrong I LOVE my Saab but this whole situation has damaged Saab beyond any possible revival. Far too many customers went to Audi over the past 25 years and there just isnt room in the market anymore. Unfortunately. 🙁

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Zippy: There’s always room—-the markets keep growing and around the world, more people than ever are buying cars. And if there’s not much room—creative minds can squeeze others out. There’s room and there’s opportunity—-but NEVS was the wrong group to try to harness any of it. Simply stated, it wasn’t just financial in nature—-it was a lack of common sense and a total lack of business acumen and ability in the 21st century. Another way of saying it: NEVS had no idea what they were doing. Saab is damaged for sure and NEVS is a big part of that damage—-but… Read more »
Avelik
Member
1 year 6 months ago
I think there is a way to (kind of) make sense of everything all the different parties are saying without running into serious contradictions and without wondering who is lying. First of all, I, like probably most, don’t think this last article by SvD makes a lot of sense, so if we are to accept that it is based on something actual, we shouldn’t take it in its literal description as it’s in the article. So let’s see what we’ve got. On the one hand, there is the info that there haven’t been negotiations about the brand name for months… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
Avelik,, interesting post,,, If you look at Mahindra & Mahindra’s Numbers (online) their working capital or cash on hand is like 750 million us dollars. the debt is 5.5 billion,, total sales 15 billion.. That is all companies under the group. Certainy if Saab AB had certain demands that Tim mentioned ,, The investment would be in the billions. If one looks at the numbers Mahindra is not big enough without major risk to absorb it. They say it takes one billion dollars for a major car maker to introduce and develop one car new car. The key word Established… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
It’s just hard to believe that in 2012, Saab AB evidently had no such Draconian conditions to allow use of their name. For Pete’s sake, they turned their name over to NEVS. NEVS for crying out loud, NEVS!!! Now, suddenly they want a commitment for Space Shuttle development money or no one can sell Saabs? That just seems crazy to me. I guess one possibility is that after the NEVS fiasco, Saab AB is overcompensating and weeding out smaller companies by demanding something unreasonable. If that’s the case, Saab cars is dead in the water because at this point, the… Read more »
Patrik H
Member
1 year 6 months ago

It is beyond crazy. The craziest part of this entire story, by far, if true.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Just curious Angelo do we know how much it cost Nevs??? GM ?, Spyker?. GM gave it life in perverted way and then slowly sucked its life out slowly..

GM could’ve taken Saab far with the right motive…Spyker and Nevs and GM contributed to its demise..I wounder why GM let Saab fall slowly and never put 100 percent into it.. To me that is really mind boggling. Than again GM really built some real junk for many years… The whole company was a mess.

Skipper
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Doug, take your pick:
-GM could not handle SAAB
-GM did not understand SAAB.
-GM put the wrong people in charge
-GM did not realise what investments were involved to compete with eg. Audi.
-The SAAB board was too distant from Detroit
-Some GM directors saw SAAB as a competitor for investments to eg. Cadillac.
-Opel was told “hands off SAAB” up to 2005, and hence did not give much help.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Thanks Rolf great analogy. GM was huge and had excess to some of the most brilliant minds in the industry,,, highly educated, marketing genius,, so much for that,, like said dumb.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Doug: GM had the resources for sure. Remember, as recently as the late 70s and maybe into the 80s, GM had OVER 50% market share!!! GM was selling more cars than everyone else combined. Sure, it’s unrealistic to believe they could do that forever—-but my point is that their demise was worse than it should have been. The fell faster and further than many thought possible, beginning with the reign of Roger Smith. Each successive CEO has seemed to be worse than the last. They got lazy at GM. They promoted from within—-bean counters. Instead of appointing the brightest and… Read more »
Skipper
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Angelo, first thing GM did was to kill a SAAB proposal for a new architecture with AWD, IRS and SLA front suspension – in favour of a – then – 17 year old Opel platform – the second gen. 900 – the worst vehicle ever- unwillingly – engineered by SAAB.
The reason for GM buying SAAB – and FORD buying Jaguar- was Lexus – introduced in Detroit 1989 – I was there and watched it happen.

SAAB was not in decline in 1989 – it was waiting for decisions – and money, which the Wallenberg family was reluctant to supply.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Rolf: Saab’s financials before GM stepped in were awful—life support status. Also, even the biggest fans of Saab here have acknowledged that Saab engineers were fixated on spending inordinate amounts of money on things like door handle designs, etc.—they had to be saved from themselves. Was GM a good steward of Saab? No, of course not. But there weren’t a lot of people banging down the door to “Save Saab.” And by the way, if someone at GM had the notion that buying Saab would stop any bleeding from the punch in the nose Lexus (and Acura) gave American luxury… Read more »
Iiari
Member
1 year 6 months ago
That’s the first I’ve ever heard/read of Lexus factoring in either. I’ve talked to a few ex-GM and ex-dealer people who all, to a man, say the same things. Those people haven’t 1) known of my Saab fandom and 2) have no reason to lie. They all say: – GM bought Saab because they thought luxury lines were the future for profit (not wrong) and because they thought they could get European prestige cheap – They all admit that GM in many ways botched Saab… – But they ALL say no one else was interested in buying Saab, that it… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
liari: All very well stated and I’ve heard similar things. One theme I’ve heard repeated—as I pointed out in my post—is that some of the Saab engineers and executives refused to make even practical concessions on cost cutting measures. Everyone here might stand up and say “GM was trying to cheap out on Saab, we want great Saabs, not GM Saabs.” Well the problem with that is most of these people are driving old, used Saabs and wouldn’t lay out the extravagant money that the cars started to cost. Cutting things that really wouldn’t make a difference in safety and… Read more »
Skipper
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Mark, Lexus LS 400 shocked both GM and Ford – they realised they could not compete with Lincoln nor Cadillac. Ford was quickest and bought Jaguar- GM had to make do with SAAB. In parallell with the infamous 900 Gen.2, SAAB was told to develop a Lexus killer with a V8 from Porsche or Yamaha. SAAB did not have the experience, nor partsbin (architecture) and the project was closed.
FIAT had – for good and bad – probably bought SAAB if not Bob Eaton had stepped in and bought SAAB in less than a couple of months.

Mailr
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Iiari, the statement that no one else was interested in SAAB is just not correct. A deal with FIAT was very close to being finalized when GM stepped in. The reason GM and not FIAT got the deal was because they were thought to be for SAAB. I would say that the likely reason that inability to define what a Saab *really was* is likely to be mindset. I guess the same people where unlikely to comprehend just why Saab was able to win in Monte Carlo 1952 and 1953, because when comparing features it would most likely seem totally… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Well written Angelo seems right on…

Mark
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Angelo forgets that GM saved Saab from the clutches of Fiat at the 11th hour. Fiat wanted 100% of Saab but GM was initially happy to take only a 50% stake. Something that Saab-Scania was happier with and a deal was struck. Personally I think Fait would’ve sold Saab again within a decade. Saab could have benefitted somewhat from Fiat, but Fiat definitley would have benefitted from Saab’s knowledge as GM eventually did. GM then had the cheek to call it it’s own intellectual property! As to GM ownership, I doubt that there’s a single incidence of a company truly… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Mark: Agree and disagree. I do agree with you that GM’s purchase of Saab was an impulse to match Ford—a “me too” decision after Ford made headlines getting Jaguar. I’m not sure why either of these purchases would be looked at as a way to curtail Lexus’s success but that’s possible too. I had never heard that theory but I guess there could be some truth in there. As for FIAT—-I didn’t forget that. I’ve read about it. Look, I’d like to buy Saab too and if I offer $5000.00 and my collection of baseball cards, can I get in?… Read more »
Mark
Member
1 year 6 months ago
I’ve always been suspicious of NEVS motives. I thought there was a bigger picture which we weren’t able to see. However NEVS ideas (whatever they truly were?) have fallen in a heap and a lot of important time has been wasted. They say Saab is a cat with nine lives but I think it has only one or two of those lives left now. NEVS has used up a couple of them. I still hope Mahindra is in the picture. I’ve been driving Saabs since 1987 (exclusively from October 1991). My current car is a 1999 9-3 which I’ve owned… Read more »
Jordan
Member
1 year 6 months ago

I think if anything can be said about this mess, it’s that the lack of any sort of transparency is absolutely frustrating.

I definitely understand that NEVS needs to keep their lips shut, but to leave everyone with, “The negotiations are ongoing” is absolutely not enough. Especially when multiple sources are contradicting that statement.

Seriously, I no longer know what to believe anymore.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Jordan: I will now go on record as saying I’ve never seen a company of any size, anywhere in the world, as bad at transparency and public outreach as NEVS has been since they were established. Even when “times were good” for NEVS (whatever that means…I guess maybe when the built a few 9-3s), they were utterly incompetent at generating excitement or enthusiasm, getting the word out to the media—-they were pathetic. Now you fast forward to this—-and it’s not only NEVS, but the courts, these other OEMs—-and maybe it’s how things are done in Sweden. I don’t really know.… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
Angelo I think if Mahindra had acquired Saab from GM it could’ve worked… The efforts since 2009 really have damaged Saab greatly, and has diminished a smaller company having a real chance because of the additional cost now… If a smaller company does give it go, it may succeed at a very slow pace. Years and Years for many to see cars in a variety of places. What Saab needs is a name behind it at this point, that will make serious news globally. Instant excitement but most important credibility… I know it isn’t happening but take your choice BMW,… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Doug: Today’s FIAT could do something positive with Saab, particularly in the U.S. market.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Oh and Angelo it’s a quandary like you said,, that was a great point you made earlier. Very perplexed at this point.

Paul Willis
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Part of the problem is that we Saabophiles have a fairly unique and off-beat perspective on cars. Quirky works for some people, but even quirky with advanced engineering still has limitations. Yes, the 1974 99 I test-drove in 1979 was FWD, had rack and pinion steering, multi-pint fuel injection, and 4-wheel disc brakes. Way ahead of its time. And I thought the 900 turbos were super cool (still do, cause I have one still). But, remember that the 900 was a revised version of the 99, which dated back to the late 60s, so by the time the 900 was… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Paul Willis gets my vote for the best post ever created on Saabs United. That sums it up perfectly. For once, I have nothing to add.

Skipper
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Paul, I can add to that: -9000 was developed 1978-1984 together with Thema, Croma and Alfa 164. -in 1989 SAAB was working on a face lift on 9000 (9000 CS MY-92) and- long term – a new architecture. -the owners did not want to fund that alone – discussions for a sale to FIAT was ongoing. -Jan. 1989 in Detroit, Lexus 430 was introduced. -both Ford and GM realised they could not compete. -Ford was quickest and bought Jaguar. -GM thought that SAAB could develop a Lexus beater, and bought 50% of SAAB in a few month – ahead of… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Rolf: In business, “bad condition” is a term used to describe “lacking finances.” A good business model sells enough product or service to cover expenses and make a profit. If you are not doing those things consistently, you are in “bad condition.” Saab was in “bad condition” or one of two things would have happened: They wouldn’t have needed to sell. Or, they would have had multiple companies bidding the price up to buy them. Neither of those things happened, because financially, they were in deep trouble—on the brink of where they are now. Yes, Saab engineers were working on… Read more »
Mark
Member
1 year 6 months ago
In 1999 Saab lacked the funds to develop a new 900 platform. It looked at adapting the 9000 platfrom for the 900 and indeed early NG900 prototypes featured a modified 9000 platform. This platform was wider and gave the NG900 a more chunky look. However using the 9000 platform would’ve made the NG900 almost as expensive to make as a 9000 and Saab ruled that option out. This left it nowhere to go and Scania was not happy about pouring all it’s profits into the car division, so basically Saab Automobile had to be sold. If Fiat had bought Saab,… Read more »
Mark
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Ooops. I noticed I typed 1999 instead of 1989!

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Paul great reading,,, If or whoever buys in, the philosophy of Saab cars better change to a broader audience.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Doug: Again—in my opinion, reaching a broader audience, for Saab, might be best accomplished by introducing a car that is closer to entry level pricing. A smaller car with a nice design—-priced a little higher than VW Golf territory but well engineered, safe—-that sort of car might bring new buyers into the fold. When you reduce the price of what you’re selling, making it available to more people—-that’s one way to potentially increase your sales. Now, some Saab purists (aka Snaabs) scoff at that—-they want a car to go head to head with BMW. Problem is, not enough snaabs are… Read more »
3cyl
Member
1 year 6 months ago

It seems that the “prestige” of owning a Mercedes or BMW should be discounted when the sheer number of them out there is taken into account. That doesn’t seem to be the case however even though there are so many of them. SAABs in contrast were not owned by every Tom Dick and Harry, but apparently that worked more against the brand than for it.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

3 Cyl: Yes and no. There are watches made in low volume by micro-manufacturers. Some of them sell for about a thousand bucks or so. Rolex makes a hell of a lot more watches than these manufacturers do. Put a Rolex on your wrist and it’s instant prestige, even though they make a lot of them. No one will ever claim that a Porsche or Mercedes or even BMW is less prestigious than a Saab—-except Saab enthusiasts.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
My take Angelo is; Saab cars haven’t held value because of GM cheapening certain area’s of the car… Plastic parts, radio’s, dated platforms etc cost of labor. My point , the initial prices (retail) didn’t match certain qualities especially in comparison to BMW, Audi.Lexus, Infiniti. Saab cars did have other qualities in engineering and such.. From 2003 going forth the cars couldn’t compete with other said brands in value… Additionally lack of real strong advertising also hurt Saab. Saab needs quality fit to finish Sleeker designs, value for the dollar.. In addition I agree cars between $25,000 to $35,000 but… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Doug: All true—except think back to the pre-GM Saab days. In the 80s, their resale value in the U.S. was still below that of other higher priced European cars. Volvo did better and so did Mercedes and BMW. Audi did not—-but remember, that was on the heels of the “unintended acceleration” mugging by 60 Minutes—-that damaged Audi badly until they got their footing again. But the point is that when Saab was putting better leather, better trim, etc. on their cars, resale was still an issue—the Japanese cars ran circles round them even before GM came in.
Paul Willis
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Thanks for the kind words, Angelo. I am one of those folks who has an ancient Saab and tries to keep it on the road. I do a fair amount of work myself, have gone to pick-n-pull junkyards to get parts, and have a bunch of former dealer mechanics do the hard stuff who work out of a cave (literally, they are in a cave). But I am a dying breed, and I am getting to the point where one major thing on the old girl and I will probably throw in the towel. Only because it is a limited… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Paul: A few years ago, I bought a used KIA Sedona minivan with 113,000 miles on it. It’s a 2007. I got it for a Home Depot weekend hauler and have found myself driving it to work too. 3 years later—-it’s only had minor issues. It doesn’t burn oil, everything works—-it’s a reliable vehicle and was cheap. I would recommend a KIA to anyone in the market for a value oriented car. There is still room for a smaller company selling Saabs to flourish. But they have to address voids in the marketplace that GM and Muller didn’t bother with—-I… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
Angel and Paul what is it you guys want in a vehicle going forward???? It would be fun if we gave Characteristics of the driving experience we look for… What drew us to Saabs ? etc. For me in my 08 93 2.0 Turbo was. value for the dollar used, nothing close Uniqueness. my car looks and drives new and to be honest I get many compliments The balance and power ratio,, especially on the highway the car drives effortlessly at 70 mph,,, and has impressive power between 60 and 100 mph. keep the rpms up in lower gears and… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Doug: Safety should be best in class or at least very good. Paintwork/durable paint a must so the car looks good for a long time. FWD handling and reasonable ground clearance to be able to go in a few inches of snow. A price that is competitive with Subaru, not BMW. I’d love to see a hatchback again. The features we need for a safe and satisfying driving experience—-the options we want in sensible packages. There should always be a base model that’s well equipped but not loaded with things some of us have no interest in—-heads up display, heated… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Good points Angelo, almost all makers come with aluminum wheels today… Certainly higher end cars… I agree with the option choices… Some of the tech is getting way out of hand,,,, I love my TOM TOM easy to use… Just don’t need it everyday… Interface stereo is nice… I love the night panel switch and Ignition location make sense with a purpose for safety like to hear from others..

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Night panel is cheap and easy and is a Saab tradition. The ignition location is fine too. Those are links to Saab’s past and if a new company gets to build new Saabs—-it’ll be important to salvage some of those links to the pats that Saab fans take pride in.

Paul Willis
Member
1 year 6 months ago
I have a convertible, but for a sedan I would want a hatchback, definitely. And something with good interior space within a reasonably sized outward package. I think the 9000 was very well designed in that regard. About a foot shorter than my classic 900 but with tons more room. And the ones I had were very quick. The styling was not “Saab” enough, and that cost it dearly in the marketplace. The Saab faithful didn’t like its outward lack of quirkiness, and everyone else had no idea what it actually was. The older 900s I had were all hatchbacks,… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
Paul never herd of the light flicker problem before… The Turbo leg is light in comparison to some other cars. What was a real problem in the past was sludge however. I found the front torgue steer to be minimal in the 2.0… I am certain in the Aero it would be worse. All wheel drive is must option on increased horse power models… or higher performance would need rear wheel drive. Personally I don’t need four wheel drive with the 2.0 Four wheel drive is very nice,but more expensive more maintenance. Should be a option however. I really never… Read more »
Joe
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

This is an interesting article illustrating the gross overcapacity the automobile industry faces worldwide: http://www.odometer.com/rides/10497/17-mind-blowing-pics-of-places-in-the-world-where-unsold-cars-waste-away#slide/0
I submit; does the world market NEED another brand and platform? We should collectively answer that question without any prejudice or emotion, as we discuss what might/might not be going on….

Red J
Member
1 year 6 months ago

So you are saying that because aren’t able to sell their millions of cars, no small company should be allowed to try to sell a few hundred thousand cars.
Joe, there a re people that don’t want to have to buy a VW a Toyota or a Chevrolet. From my point of view you could pile those cars and then sell it as art, as long as can buy a car with more character.

Joe
Guest
1 year 6 months ago
Red J; Respectfully, I did not say that no company should not be “allowed” to try to sell cars. The current climate in the automotive industry is just not conducive to another manufacturer adding capacity at this time. A “few hundred thousand cars” (as you say) sadly, would not move the needle on the marketplace or come remotely close in developing a profitable enterprise. SAAB couldn’t make money when the market was far more dynamic…why should a pure business concern like Mahindra (or others) seeking ROI or EBIDA jump in the water? Again, you must detach your emotions (and mine)… Read more »
Red J
Member
1 year 6 months ago

Detached Emotions mode.

IMHO, Mahindra is willing to invest in a “upmarket” Brand from their point of view. They already tried to buy JLR.
Yes, the brand is highly damaged, but it is more difficult to enter that market sector with a new brand (see Infinity, Lexus …).
I’m not saying that this is the best decision for Mahindra, this is their decision, but if they want to enter the more lucrative luxury market there aren’t many more opportunities to get their hands on a Brand with some history/cachet.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
And Joe, Red sort of already made my point. Yes, this is going to be an uphill climb if Mahindra tries it (or if someone else does). But I don’t view it as impossible. New companies enter all sorts of established industries that are saturated. New soft drinks, new toothpastes—why not? If you think the pie is already large enough, at least consider the possibility that someone new can take a few bites of the pie from someone who already has a few pieces. It’s not impossible. And with lower priced manufacturing in India or China, it might be possible… Read more »
Joe
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Red J and Angelo V; Never did mean to imply it’s impossible, but it is indeed improbable.
Especially if the brand name usage is a non-starter.

Alas; the history/cachet Red J indicates above, becomes moot.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 6 months ago
Joe: Understood—but on the other hand, I’m sure back in the late 1980s, people would have said that with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, Suzuki, Isuzu, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Peugeot, Renault, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, etc.—-there was no room for a cheap, crappy upstart like Hyundai and certainly, no need for KIA, makers of the Ford Festiva—to try to sell cars independently in the U.S. Guess what? KIA and Hyundai are now selling in the millions and making enormous profits. But on the other hand, some names on my list are out of the U.S. now and in… Read more »
Joe
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Right you are, Angelo!
I think your narrative above makes a compelling argument (which you’ve always advocated) as to the direction an upstart company should take…reliable, modern, stylish, high perceived value, and low-investment!

Let’s see what they do…

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