The BMW track should not be pursued any more

BMW was one of the rumoured companies that where interested in buying Saab. The rumour came from many sources, and because there have been some minor links between SAAB and BMW, and because BMW is a very small fish in the current automotive pond, I really thought BMW would (try to) buy SAAB.

As we all know BMW (if they ever tried), didn’t manage to buy SAAB Automobile AB, instead of that NEVS (an automotive newcomer) was the lucky one. But the (known)business plan of NEVS doesn’t make 100% sense. It is based on some governmental assumptions, which are a little bit shaky. For Instance the German government said one year ago that by 2020 1 million EV will be rolling on German streets, now (one year later) most of the experts doubt about it.

So, once again rumours have hit the streets. This time some people talk about a third party, with automotive background, willing to invest in SAAB Automobile and produce conventional cars to fill the gap and get the production numbers in the factory high. Often the name of Mahindra&Mahindra is the name that you hear in combination with this last rumour.

But the fact that NEVS is willing to use Japanese technology, and because BMW has started a new cooperation with Toyota to develop electric power train, thus ending the cooperation with the French PSA Group, made me think about a NEVS-Toyota-BMW cooperation with SAAB as proving ground brand for new technologies.

But this last dream of a cooperation between NEWS and BMW is now after this piece of news has finally disappeared.

BMW has signed a MoU with Nedcar to produce Minis in that factory from 2014. BMW will invest 200 Million Euros in the factory and plan to produce 60,000 till 90,000 cars till 2020. The fact that they will start production in 2014 makes me believe, that they will wait till the next-Gen Mini for starting production, as it doesn’t make sense to invest in the factory to produce the current Mini for one year, and the invest more money to be able to build the next-Gen Mini. Nedcar, in Limburg (Netherlands) currently produces some Mitsubishi cars, but Mitsubishi has already said, that they will stop producing by the end of the year. Which means further 1,500 unemployed people in Europe, and believe me we have enough unemployed people over here.

I’m happy about Nedcar and those 1,500 workers that will be keeping their jobs till 2020 (lifetime of the next Mini?), but on the other side, it makes me sad to think about the “what if” scenario in Trollhättan.

Think about BMW building 60,000 – 90,000 Minis, add 20,000 Entry level Saabs based on the Mini platform, and put some 80,000 further Saab cars based on the Phoenix platform (9-3,9-5,9-4x) on the second assembly line. This would mean the factory running at full capacity.

But dreams are only dreams, and rumours are only rumours, but hearing that NEVS has paid HEMFOSA more money for the SAAB real state that HEMFOSA paid last year, makes me think that the people at NEVS know something we don’t know, but I think it is Asia related.

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Bravada from GMI

Not that I am not worried for Saab an continue to root for the brand, but great news for NedCar! I was very disappointed with the Mitsubishi-PSA deal not extending enough to secure some good products for NedCar, who had been getting the short end of the stick – first the Volvo pull-out, then the Smart ForTwo (brilliant car, btw) fiasco, and now the Mitsubishi back-out. NedCar, with its interesting heritage and with my undying affection for everything Dutch, deserved better than that, and MINI is ideal for them. This is also great news, because apparently BMW believes they can… Read more »


Re; Countryman is a fine car in goofy clothing….

I drove past one the other day & thought it looked like a loaf of bread driving towards me…


Magna Steyr is reportedly the production partner of Qoros Auto.


Sorry, that should be development and production partner.


IMO it doesn´t make sense if it would be only Asia related. With a modern factory in Sweden and a sales market in Europe nearby. This whole NEVS business seems to be very well thought out, there must be partners concerning car production, otherwise the risk to fail would be too high.
So I still hope there is some European / Indian? cooperation behind the curtain. Really, BMW should think about it, I don´t keep up. One Mio. loyal Saab customers additionally. 😉


It’s really a shame BMW didn’t buy Saab. They have the competence to really do SAAB justice. Imagine all Saabs being XWD equipped, with BMW engines, and of course, Saab ergonomics (then Saab performance would match what they’ve always claimed ;)). Since Saab is dead I want a 335i for my next car – and believe me, it’s not for BMW ergonomics (iDrive anyone?), but for the overall performance – and better interior materials. Heck, even economy is better now with BMW introducing their hybrids – which also boost acceleration performance as well! Really! Face it! Saab is dead, the… Read more »


I still believe BMW would’ve been a perfect match for Saab. They have the cash, the technology, and the automotive know-how. But whats done is done, we can hope for the best for NEVS and Saab in the coming future.


Don’t worry about 1500 more unemployed in Europe. The government or the EU will take care of them. The government is always there to take care of you.


BMW seems to have made clear that it has better things to do with its money than invest in SAAB.


BMW learnt it’s lesson with Rover. No way is it wandering down that street again.

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