As we all know Mahindra&Mahindra were one of the big players in the bidding process for Saab. Despite being the front runner they went passive at a certain point when the recievers divided Saab in that infamous seven packages to obtain more money for the creditors. But getting passive did not mean leaving the whole thing. Indications we got always said they were looking to partner up with another player.
di.se already came up with an article last week stating that NEVS were looking for a partner that can add cars powered by petrol, diesel or ethanol and M&M were the ones to step in. If I add up all we learned in the past few weeks this is a lot more than just speculation. It is more than likely that right now M&M and NEVS are negotiating the last points of their deep partnership.
M&M themselves have already discreetly begun to establish connections, acquire companies and patents to get hold of the latest in technology. Their involvement could give Saab a jump in technology compared to what GM had to offer. Even the issue about using the “Saab” brand name could be brought to an end as the relationship in the defense sector between Saab AB and Mahindra is quite close.
I’ve done an extensive post a while ago on why Saab would fit M&M like a glove, even if this is only through a partnership. Recently M&M launched their XUV 5OO model, that is still in need for a low-emission diesel engine when it comes to Europe. The XUV 5OO is the first model that was designed using the new global SUV platform Mahindra has developed – and that besides some Ssangyong models also a next 9-4x could be based on.
Speaking of Ssangyong, they could surely use knowledge about hybrid drivetrains like it is found in the eAAM project that Saab was part of. Even if the share of Saab in eAAM was sold by the receivers a big amount of experience will still be found among engineers who are now re-hired by NEVS.
NEVS themselves would of course benefit from the connection to such a global player. In their press conference on the sale day they already named India as one of their markets. And looking at it from the outside a collaboration with M&M would make their business plan look more complete than with the sole focus on EVs. Those conventional and hybrid cars would be the missing link to a solid future of Saab 2.0.
Of course all that info does not come from official sources but given how long we got said indications and that they filtered through quite extensively to various people (like our friends at saablog-in) gave me enough faith to go public with it though official spokesmen still regard to it as speculation. But in the end, if they don’t want to deny what else should they do?