Indian and Chinese interest in Saab Cars / NEVS

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.51.06

 Dongfeng logotype

 

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.58.39

Mahindra logotype 

 

 

For some days now SaabsUnited have been aware of the two possible new owners/partners/collaborators to Saab Cars. We have decided to lay low with this information since it could potentially hurt the negotiations. SaabsUnited has always had the making of Saab cars in Trollhättan made and designed by Swedish know-how a top priority.

Today the SvD reporter Jonas Fröberg has published an article revealing the two parties interested in Saab, They are Mahindra and Dongfeng.

Mahindra is interested in becoming an owner to a certain percentage. SU sources mention a percentage over 50%. Dongfeng primarily wants to get in on the Phoenix platform. Mr. Fröberg thinks it is odd since Dongfeng bought 14% of the french PSA group for little over 1 billion dollars half a year ago. Dongfeng makes a wide variety of both in house as well as “license” PSA products.

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.54.28

Some of Dongfengs cars

Mihandra a big indian conglomerate with som 180000 people. They are big in various machinery and make two electrical vehicles as well as the Ssangyong SUV brand. The indian company has an competitor within the borders of the country and that is TATA Motors. A successful company now running luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover. Mahindra might want to copy that concept, turning Saab into the prestige brand it should be. There is overcapacity of “standard” cars in europe but not for luxury and “boutique” models. The relatively small production facility in Trollhättan might be just perfect. I guess the economy could be good for 75000 car/ year in the 65000+ dollars category. The former owners of SAAB as well as founders way back the Wallenberg Business Empire with SEB Bank and SAAB AB (aircrafts, submarines, military systems), has according to Fröberg good old connections with Mr. Anand Mahindra. This could potentially be very helpful since SAAB AB does not want any publicity that is negative and involving the word SAAB in any way to disturb right now. An informant told me that Dassault French makers of fighter-jets competing with SAABs 39 Gripen on the world scene has shamefully used the trouble in Saab Automobile in smearing the Saab name. Same french company hiring burglars to try to open hotel safety boxes for Saab AB businessmen. (but that is another story). A key question is the rights to the SAAB name on automobiles and I would guess this is the hardest issue to solv. Saab AB does not want any more negative writings, that could be negative for the arms sale.

“We do not comment who we are talking to, but it is two asian vehicle manufacturers. We negotiate / talk, ownership and development of the Phoenix Platform”

– Mr. Mikael Östlund says this to SvD reporter Jonas Fröberg.

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.59.51

Mahindra XUV 500 Sportz

So my guess is that there is a solution for future car manufacturing in Trollhättan that we can write about here at SaabsUnited before the end of this month. Or why not come with a great Midsummer Nights surprise on thursday before Sweden closes down for a 3 day holiday by many regarded as more important then christmas. A Midsummer present to the Saab World please!

Link to SvD Jonas Fröbergs article :http://blog.svd.se/frobergsbilar/2014/06/16/dongfeng-och-mahindra-vill-at-nevs/

488 thoughts on “Indian and Chinese interest in Saab Cars / NEVS”

  1. Brilliant news (and I wonder if Dongfeng has any strategy at all, or are they just a mock “competitor” to Mahindra in this running), but $65K is pushing it. Saab has barely ever been in this territory. $30-50K is more likely, if we have to talk dollars. Or more like EUR 20-40K.

    • Yes! In my vision for Saab, I would also prefer Saab to become (or rather stay) a smart-premium brand – and become even smarter! For me the Saab brand stands for innovation, intelligent solutions, modern design and more recently also cutting edge green technology. A good product will always sell! I think very few Saab fans would identify themselves with the kind of macho testosterone and bling-bling preferences that would fit many owners of luxury cars with aggressive design. (Why design angry cars?) The day I see a Saab featured in a rap video, is the day I would stop buying Saabs. Saabs are for hard working and determined people – builders of our community. No short cuts, just sweat and late nights at the office. Driving home through the night in a jet black 9-3, feeling great, having accomplished something! Saab owners have no need for prestige in the sense of showing off money. Sure, let the Chinese pimp up their Saabs if they must, but please never let those cars leave China. Money will run out in China too in a not so distant future, it’s a natural law…
      (Indians seems to be proned to hard work, might be good owners…)

    • Look at the Tesla prices. Most of that money goes into the battery. Even with a smaller car, any Saab will not be much cheaper, that is, if they are going to offer a comparable battery (let’s say 80 kWh).

      • That’s why pure EV is a bad idea. The Chevy Volt sells for tens of thousands less than Tesla and is far more versatile, can be driven cross country. “Saabize” a car like that and it would be far superior to any pure EV. Better yet, let’s continue with ICE and turbo technology—-the world still has plenty of fuel for that.

        • I don’t agree. There are two factors here, peak oil problems are just around the corner, but the effect will not be felt so much in rich countries, the other is that both solar power and battery prices are dropping fairly fast. This will change the cost relations. There are a couple of other, minor, things as well, but those two things will change the game. Of course, if an engine with significant real fuel efficiency gains comes along, the point in time will be pushed further into the future, but the change will come. But, of course, switching to all EVs at this point in time won’t work, but in 5 years time it’s likely.

          • So do you believe that in 5 years, manufacturers will be selling more EVs than ICE cars? The percentage of EV sales now is so minute—-it would take something epic for EVs to suddenly be more than 50% of new car sales in 5 years. Is it possible? I believe anything is possible. But I’m having trouble visualizing the scenario in which our oil and gas supply will be so impacted—-that we are forced to rape the earth to mine the materials for batteries for all these millions of new cars.

            • In Europe the environmental requirement will get a lot togher very soon, thats a 800’000 million people market not including turkey (75 million) who is pushing hard for less emissions. There is a reason why all EU manufacturers are spending huge money in electric cars right now! There is a reason why Mercedes bailed out Tesla when it was about to go bankrupt, everyone wants access to the tech

            • I soften it a bit, maybe 50% in five years maybe isn’t that likely, but a significant part (10+%) of the market is, and the writing on the wall is likely to be in place. The economics might make ICE cars unattractive quite fast once the ball gets rolling.

              • So it will be an artificial, government mandated move to EVs? That, I could see happening. Sheeple can be pathetic—-and not only in Europe. There’s plenty of push in the U.S. for this sort of thing too—-a high stakes game of “follow the money trail.” Funny, but I have a feeling China, India and Mexico will continue to burn coal, oil—-do what’s best for their populations, their economies. We heard about the “explosion” of EVs in China. I just poked around a little on that. The explosion is like a wet firecracker at this point.

                  • Interesting blurb about Chinese made Volvos coming to the U.S. I wonder if that will mean lower unit pricing here? Volvo might just reignite on these shores.

                    • If that’s the case, I guess they’re happy with how many they’re selling and just want to make more money on each one. Sales numbers seem a little low for Volvo—-thought they might want to move more of them.

                • Only partly mandated, the thing with oil is that supply is very unelastic, i.e. rising prices only have a limited effect on supplies as much of the production is running very close to maximum production (and that production limit seems to have a falling trend), i.e, demand will make fossil fuel prices rise, which will improve the relative economics of EV cars. Once we see major economic growth, especially in china, we are likely to see significant fuel price rises.

  2. My opinion hasn’t changed in the two years since I wrote here that the Receivers should put Saab in Mahindra’s hands. Made the most sense then. Makes the most sense now. I don’t know what their vision is—-but my vision for them is to make Mahindra-Saab a full line global auto maker, returning Saab to many of it’s former markets with premium Saabs made in Sweden and entry level Saabs produced in areas with a lower labor rate. Give us the small hatchback 9-1 or 9-2. Give us at least two different sport utility vehicles. Give us a premium sedan—-and a combi. Bring Mahindra diesel compact trucks to market, finally. Sell them in the same showrooms, giving dealers something that the old Saab dealers never had from Saab alone—-that is, a wide variety of cars to sell at many price points. Let’s make this happen Mahindra. Let’s correct the mistakes that might have been made in early 2012. Let’s get to work.

  3. Now that could work out fine for Saab. Something to replace the 93 first would be great. Try to reach a big potential buyers group . And let the world know Saab is still alive !

  4. This clearly show that SAAB is alive and parties with deep pockets are around. Unfortunately not in Sweden but, why not India. TATA is a great owner of Jaguar. Saab has many lives. Lets look positively on the future. WE ARE SAAB WE ARE MANY.
    Whatever comes out of this process is most likely good. If SAAB gets a new owner structure that must be celebrated in some way. What about a massive rally in Trollhättan just like we had that winter day 4 years ago.

      • This is a 1000 Dollar question or SilverBullet…. I have no clue really but as in all western capitalist economies shortsightedness is a common disease, people want instant wealth. To be in something for the long-run-haul is not of interest. Sad development I must say. Car making is a loooong process and long before one can harvest the crops!

      • Why would they? It seems for me, from a distance, that many Swedish people would prefer to buy an imported car than their own brands (yes I’m talking about the others from Gottemburg, which look great by the way, and a 2.0 tubo and supercharged …that’s engineering!).
        Maybe people think there’s already too many brands outhere.

  5. if you’re a Saab-lover, you don’t want to see that SUV (and the other cars) with a Saab badge. you. just. don’t.

    personally i think Saab is dead. it’s the 2nd time the owner of Saab is in dire straits/short on cash.

    • It’s beyond the second time, but who’s counting? And Saab-lovers don’t personally think Saab is dead. Down and out, yes. Drugged for a couple years? Maybe. Dead? No. I’m totally fine with the idea of seeing that SUV with a Saab badge, selling alongside the cars that you might consider “real” Saabs. We’re going to need both for this to work. I’m excited about the prospects for a possible deal. I’m not getting my hopes up too high—but have some guarded optimism. The ultimate irony will be if a company based in India helps Saab reconnect with its original Swedish mission—affordable cars with some out of the box thinking going into their designs. That ended in the 1970s, about 40 years ago. It’s time to rediscover that in Saab.

      • Saab’s were never affordable, maybe in The States back when the dollar was still the dollar, and they were never intended to be affordable. The European perception versus the American perception.
        Are any cars that come out of the factory in Trollhattan Saab’s ?

        • How old are you AAP? Saabs were priced like Volkswagens in the 1960s—-among the lowest priced cars available in the U.S. and people loved them. My parents had a lakefront Summer house and there was a small Saab dealer that served that community (That dealer is still there by the way.). The original reputation Saab had was inexpensive cars that did great in snow and had more space on the inside than the exterior made people think. Quirky, but good.

          • True, Angelo. I remember a college friend back in around 1960 with a Saab 95 two cycle engine. But Saab was a pretty non-existent brand to most in the US until the early 1980’s when the 900Turbo arrived. By the mid eighties and into the early 90’s, it was a hot seller among many “yuppies” looking for something different. It sure wasn’t among the lowest priced cars in the US then, but on the other hand, perhaps 10-15% less than a comparable BMW.

          • In 1960 the dollar was traded at c.a. € 2.25 (by my personal calculation since there was no euro in those days) instead of c.a. € 0,75 today. The Saab 96 was about the same size
            of a beetle but more expensive.

            • Both the Beetle and Saab sold for around two thousand dollars, U.S. at the same time. Strength or weakness of the dollar obviously impacts pricing here. But the fact remains that the original Saabs, adjusted for inflation, would not sell for anywhere close to the Muller Saabs. And there’s an explanation for that too—-the Muller Saabs were competing in a completely different category. A $55,000 car in 2011 was a much higher end car than a $2500.00 car in 1967. Saab was playing in a different league and they lost. Hugh—-you’re right that Saab became much better known as a brand in the U.S., during the yuppy era of the 1980s. Subaru also became a much better known brand in the U.S. too, during the same period of time, perhaps 5-7 years after Saab. Funny how one of them is doing well right now and the other has flopped. Subaru found a value formula. They started out as “Inexpensive and Built to stay that way.” And over the years, Subaru has moved well upmarket compared to where they started out. But they’ve done it in a very intelligent and methodical way and they’ve continued to offer a value leader in their line-up. When the “Outbacks” got really pricey and they were selling like hotcakes—-Subaru kept the “Loyale” available as a value leader for people who still wanted a Subaru, but didn’t need all that the Outback offered. Saab refused to continue to cater to their loyal buyers by having an inexpensive car available for those who wanted a Saab, but didn’t need bling. Saab went “all in” to sell expensive cars to compete with mid-level Audis and BMWs. By going all in, they became “all done.” I’m hopeful that any new controlling owner will understand Saab’s place—-and that is not in the $40,000 and up ballpark. Want to see more failure? Stick with what hasn’t worked. That hasn’t worked.

  6. Hopefully the past relationship with Mr. Mahindra (and his deep pockets) can secure the Saab name. This sounds like an ideal set up for a Saab come back. This makes me somewhat optimistic that something positive is going to happen and bring Saab back to North America. I wonder how long it will take. Fingers crossed!

    • Forget N. America (that would be icing on cake). Just the potential that SAAB will continue as a marque with such big backers is good ’nuff news as-is, instead of withering away (again and again) in slow and painful sufferings.

      • Ken: Have a look at Saab sales figures over the last 30 plus years. Then tell me with a straight face that North America is
        “icing.” It’s a very big portion of the cake. The facocta way NEVS tried to roll things out is proof that a new owner needs to take an entirely new approach. No, that doesn’t mean Saabs being sold in the U.S. anytime soon. But it needs to be in the discussion and it needs to be serious if they want to ever be a stable player.

      • Mahindra already sells tractors in North America (I hear ads on the radio frequently). Back before NEVS bought Saab, there was talk that the Mahindra was looking for a way to get an auto dealership foothold in the U.S. and Saab might be that way.

      • Well if Saab or Mahindra want to be taken seriously, I certainly hope that they don’t take that “icing on cake” mentality that you have. Tata owes a lot of it’s success to the increasing sales, which were at a record high in 2013, to North America.

        I live five minutes away from a Mahindra dealership here in the US, would love to see it stocked with Saabs. I certainly do see more new Jaguars and Land Rovers than I have ever seen before.

        • SaabLife great to hear about the Mahindra network in the US. Go by that dealership and listen if they have heard about the possible future? See if they could be injected with the SAAB Spirit!

        • What I meant by “icing on the cake” is that, with whoever the new owners of SAAB may be, they may wish to (like NEVS), chase emerging markets in China (and maybe even India) for future Saab cars. That is the “cake” part. While they may deem the N. American market as one being too crowded with entry-/mid-lux marques for a new SAAB to compete in.

          So therefore I see any actual desire by the future SAAB owners to re-enter the N. American market as being “icing on the cake”.

  7. Is this article a blog opinion/speculation post, or BASED ON FACTS ?

    I’m referring to:

    “We do not comment who we are talking to, but it is two asian vehicle manufacturers. We negotiate / talk, ownership and development of the Phoenix Platform” – Mr. Mikael Östlund says this to SvD reporter Jonas Fröberg.

  8. Long ways to go,,, tough negotiations,,, if the above is accurate Mahindra will want maybe 75 t0 80 percent and at the very least controlling interest..The name will be the toughest thing,, ownership vs license… and Saab AB willingness to deal with this… Specifically after the last mess.

    The license of the brand name to me is a huge obstacle.. Not only for Mahindra but Saab AB… Very Very tricky.

    • National Electric Vehicles Sweden (who?) got to use the name. Doug—-it shouldn’t be very, very tricky. If NEVS got to use this name, a sixth grade class in Toledo who wants to sell Saab soapbox cars should be able to have it too. Mahindra had better damn well be able to obtain use of that name. They can keep the Saab operations in Sweden and use that factory as part of their portfolio. This had better not be an obstacle that dooms this.

      • The name issue is extremely delicate and KEY,,, In fact Vital in the deal as I have said numerous times …

        The following is from the above article. A key question is the rights to the SAAB name on automobiles and I would guess this is the hardest issue to solv. Saab AB does not want any more negative writings, that could be negative for the arms sale.

        • Again, I submit exhibit “A” NEVS. Delicate? Careful? Worried about potential negative writings? What in the hell did they see a couple years ago that would make them license the name to this bunch? Mahindra is far, far, far better equipped to be a safe steward of the Saab name.

          • I hear ya Angelo,,,, The problem is, look at what has happened… That said Mahindra will want the name not a license. Think of it this way, Mahindra may invest Billions, lets say 5 or ten years down the road, they would never want to have breach issue for any possible reason. Secondly maybe they build the brand and want to sell it well again sell what if it is a license? Nevs was a small player who should have never received the deal… They are not Mahindra. A license to Nevs was like sure ok.

        • If Mahindra buys NEVS shares and keep the NEVS company in charge of the Saab brand they can use the name since NEVS owns the rights to use the name…

          • Tim, have you read the license agreement? There might be a change of control clause that would bar NEVS from using the trademark if e.g. a competitor to Saab AB (defence) would buy into NEVS. I would be surprised if there was not such a clause in the contract.

            • I’ve talked to Saab AB and NEVS about it. Of course Saab AB has the ultimate saying but unless NEVS goes bust, then they should be able to use the name on cars only

            • Legally Saab,,

              great point and who is to say Nevs hasn’t impaired that agreement with the latest catastrophic shut down.

              What is the cost to the Licensee?(Nevs) or Mahindra.

              Tim I can’t imagine Mahindra building the Saab brand , investing Billions and not owning said brand.. Also if Nevs needs permission from Saab AB then it doesn’t have the ability to approve any deal without it being accepted..

              If you think that Mahindra would build a line of Vehicles spend billions and maybe have any possible breach for use of said brand, I would be shocked.

              They will need something to own it at some point..

              Mahindra will not want restrictions for Manufacturing,,,and etc.. They(Mahindra) is in the driver seat .. If all involved inflate their strengths (Nevs, Saab AB) the deal will die..

              Mahindra wanted Saab back when, We know what happened, now 2 complete failures since 2011,,

              Mahindra will want Saab for way less than before,, Unless Nevs has a full house with great new designs. Not likely. Remember Nevs is on their backs in a submission hold.

              The only way Mahindra may lose negotiation strength if another major jumps in,, and not some Bs group,, another car maker.

  9. Geely has been good for Volvo so maybe that’s a blueprint? However, I’d prefer Mahindra – just look at what TATA has done for Jaguar. If Saab could only capture a small portion of that success.

  10. The only way i can see SAAB survive is with a mix of Alfa Romeo design (swedish style), safe as a Volvo, quality as the germans and with both cheap diesels, hybrids and modern gasoline engines to a price lower of the germans. Throw the “born from jets” in the garbage, stop compare it to airplanes and start fresh. SAAB has to be started from scratch! The old SAAB is gone, dead..bring me a NEW SAAB!

    • “Born From Jets” was still born. It was a pompous, failed idea. My affordable little hatchback should be introduced quietly—-a profile photo of the car with the headline “Basic Saab.” And as things unfold, it will be explained, what “Basic Saab” means. Basic Saab safety, basic Saab performance, basic Saab value, basic Saab economy/efficiency. The idea will be to offer a car that gives you what you need—-the basic goodness of a Saab at an affordable price. Of course, the line will also include the Saabs you might WANT, with expensive features, enhanced performance, etc. But like those Saabs that sold for under two thousand dollars in a time when the Volkswagen Beetle sold for roughly the same price—-Saab needs to reconnect with their original mission.

        • Basic Saab should cost a little more than a basic VW or basic Subaru. Exciting or not, those brands are selling and making money. Time to join that party and get off the notion that Saab can compete with BMW. That train left the station in the 1990s. All done.

      • I have a feeling that “volume” manufacturing will never be the niche for SAAB cars. There are plenty of standard /basic cars around why bother to even try to compete. The only way is to step up the ladder and become the natural choice for customers with an acquired taste for a brand that has the aerospace genealogy combined with a unique design that would set Saab apart from the crowd. Just like what the 900 did on the US market for so many years and still (saw the movie GONE yesterday filmed in my second home Portland Oregon, and the leading role character drives a Saab 900, and Yes she stands out, on the other hand is Portland “littered” with Saabs thanks to great garages like Atomic Auto Saab and Garry Small Saab.)

    • Born from Jets was or could be powerful if in fact the cars simulate certain lines . cues etc. A Powerful slogan but your cars dam well live up to it. Some great creative commercials certainly can be produced. Just my opinion.

      • Bring back “The Most Intelligent Car Ever Built”. Best tagline Saab has ever had. I place it on par with BMW’s iconic “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. Saab needs to go back to the basics. Marketing 101.

          • Tim, easy money talks. Hire the most talented engineers and designers that is a small cost in the grand total. There is so much movement between car manufacturers and that is good for all parties.

            • Saab can still use “born from jets” if there is any real connection with aeronautical heritage in the design, like a special weight saving, or structural rigidity derived from aeronautical know-how etc.
              Car technology has not really gone very far really. Big Europeans are busy trying to amuse Chinese. They have let down concentrating on real value in a driving machine. This weekend I tested a Mercedes GLA for around 300 kms. It was cramped, not riding any better than my Saab, consumption was around 10 lt/100 kms(23.5 mpg US, 1.6 turbo gasoline), uncomfortable on patchy roads and info screen was dreadful etc.
              Remembering my old Saab from 2006, I wonder where has 10 years of innovation gone..

                • Brilliant car. Truly brilliant. However, we all know that Saab can’t compete with that level of inherited IP. It simply can’t. There have been so many interruptions to their lineage over the decades, whereas BM have had the family behind them with all that stability.
                  BMW are streaks ahead with their longitudinal conceptual development plan and execute it with Teutonic precision and drive. Saab should not try to emulate but to innovate. Always from BM.

      • yeah well, SAAB cant survive continue doing what it has done. SAAB can never compete with the 3 germans because they sell not only with good var but also with brand. SAABs brand aint worth so much any more. So, got to be that almost wierd carmaker again with big balls who dares to be different. Design is a key and sry but pheonix just wont do it. Cocky, daring, wierd maby even crazy cars like no one other, safe. And pls, stop talking about SAABs turbo history, born from jets and so on, show people what the brand is capable of instead. History is not a good thing for SAAB no more..

  11. My opinion way to many basic cars in the US,,, Saab should be Solid with euro feel, Good handling with a fun to drive factor. Hence European flare.. Quality engines and highly efficient.,, Turbo excitement.. High grade interiors. with leather and wit out.. Base models in the mid twenties,,, higher entry luxury from mid thirties to fifty thousand plus.

    Saabs first car in my opinion should range between twenty eight and thirty eight grand. Depending on options etc. and should have a high quality feel and appearance.

    • They could bring in a very decent car with a quality feel for around 30K if it’s engineered in Sweden, manufactured in India. No reason that can’t be done.

      • And what would be the profit margin for such a car?? The US now has the oldest car fleet in history, average car is more than 11 years old, thats twice the age compared to the EU and with only half the market size… have you forgotten about the new toll-free economic zone being created with the EU & US? By then it would be cheaper to build them in the EU…

        • Tim: The fact that the U.S. now has the oldest car fleet is an opportunity and the dozens of manufacturers making fat profits here understand that. Seriously—-Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, their parent companies, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Subaru, Mazda, Jaguar—–do you think any of them would think “no biggie” if they were told they can no longer sell cars in the U.S.? Do you think if they were starting clean, they’d decide not to sell here—-but to sell in China and India instead? As the economy hopefully improves (if it doesn’t happen now, hopefully things will get better after 2016), this “old fleet” will need to be updated in massive numbers. The car companies who invest in being here and marketing here are going to reap big rewards. Companies with money and vision—–and decent product to sell—-will make enormous sales numbers and very nice profits too. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Citroen try to come back—-though my fear would be that they will come in with their most expensive car instead of a cheaper one—-will fail and then say “Competition in the U.S. is too hard.” No, it isn’t that at all. A good business plan still makes money here, competition or not. Mahindra can do something incredible here—-for their own brand and also for Saab, if they really do get control of Saab. Ultimately, it will be the Mahindra brand that becomes a household name here if they do this correctly. But having Saab is a major cog for that plan to work. That gets them in the door.

          • Yea yea, dream on… simple fact, fewer people can afford a brand new car and those who do are buying cheaper cars with less profit margin, you should spend a bit more time reading bloomberg buddy 😉

            2016 is just another date made up arbitrarily based upon hopes…

            • You might be right, but actually, 2016 is not an arbitrary date. Really, I meant to write 2017. It would be similar to 1981 if a few things go the right way. Wouldn’t be an immediate change to good news—-might take a couple years—-but eventually, some serious prosperity. And I think Saab’s fortunes in the U.S. were good in the mid-80s. Maybe this could parallel that.

              • Without getting too off topic, 1981 started the gravy train rolling to where it is today, (or arguably, August 15th, 1971.) I’d hope to see a rehash of 1902. That won’t happen though, since almost no one is willing to vote outside of the “safe” two-party system.

            • I agree with Tim on this. The US economy is not going to experience a sudden reversal of fortune unless we get a reversal of policy. The wealth is exactly where our entrenched decision makers decided to put it. Meanwhile, the outrage of the month keeps folks too fragmented to effectively reclaim any sort of voice in the decisions being made. The money is at the top no and people up there don’t drive Saabs. Don’t forget about student loan defaults either. That catastrophe should be tanking the country nicely right around 2017 (and I am sure a handful of select banks will profit greatly from the suffering). Before too long we will start welding our own cars together from scrap like they did in Mad Max.

              • Well, I guess that makes me an eternal optimist for my country and for Saab. I think both can have bright days ahead. I’m not ready to throw in the towel.

                • As soon as we get a political party called the Guillotine Party, and get serious about its implication and implementation, we will be off and running again. But not until. You libertarians are a funny bunch.

    • If I recall correctly, the Tata Jaguars and Land Rovers are selling at much higher relative price points than beforehand, when they were both failing. Both brands had a reputation for premium quality, but dated design and insufficient sales volume. Modern and upgraded design have created products that those who can are prepared to pay for, and in sufficient volume that the company is significantly in profit. That is the modern blueprint for what to do with a premium brand – go upmarket. VW has Bentley, Audi and Porsche in its stable as well as Skodas and VW cars, which serve the lower/middle end of the market.

      I think, therefore, that maybe those who expect a Saab-branded utility compact at a discount price may be disappointed. ‘Saab’ is a premium brand name that will help sell upmarket cars and it would probably be a mistake to use it to sell lesser-quality vehicles for the mid-market.

    • I have not heard it was a private owned company. Where did you read or hear that?
      And yes Dongfeng is for sure owned by the Chinese government.

      • Tim wrote it in the article “Situation analysis regarding NEVS financial difficulties”:

        “According to sources two major companies are investing a lot of money and time performing due diligence of NEVS in order to present a proposal to their boards regarding investment into NEVS. These two companies, one rumored to be Mahindra and the other a major private asian OEM manufacturer will perhaps lead to the long term solution NEVS needs for the Saab brand.”

  12. Exciting news indeed! My only question is why is Dongfeng needed in this constellation? It is not like Mahindra doesn’t have enough money to finance the development of the Phoenix. I think Dongfeng is involved here for the political reasons. Do not forget that Chinese people are highly patriotic, and in order to save face in front of the Chinese authorities and public Kai Johan Jiang had decided to involve a Chinese company in this. China and India are not in great relations, and how it would look like if NEVS was sold to Indian Mahindra. That is the part which I personally don’t like. Not because of my preference to different nationalities but because I believe in the old saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”.
    So my 2 cent: Mahindra will get the 50+ percent of the shares and the Dongfeng will get something for almost nothing, just to get a Chinese company involved (I think that this means that the Quingdao is out for good, I hope that I am true otherwise it will be even more cooks).

    • I don’t think Chinese people’s “face” has anything to do with this decision. But there is something connected with the Chinese authorities. I don’t know what their agreement with Dongfeng will exactly be, but if they intend to form a joint venture with them to produce Saabs in China, then I think this will be quite good. The reason, and this is where Chinese authorities connection comes, is that Dongfeng is a very big state owned company so I would suppose that a joint venture with a company like Dongfeng would be much easier to establish in terms of getting all the permissions from the Chinese authorities than it would be if their partner was a smaller company. And by the way, it happens so that Dongfeng is already the company with the biggest number of joint ventures with foreign makers in China. Remember that no matter what types of cars SAAB make and on what markets they are present they will always need to target China. For this it will always be good to have a big partner like Dongfeng.

      • I don’t want to start an endless discussion here regarding the meaning of Dongfeng involvement but:

        1. Mahindra is in for 50+ percent of shares which means they want to take the steering wheel in their own hands. Why would Mahindra want to share the only asset that is worth something with a Chinese company (OK the factory in Trollhattan, but as we elaborated may times before, there is already a lot car factories in the world at wrong places)? According to NEVS, most of the Phoenix is done, so Mahindra shall not invest much into the finalizing the development. Or the news from NEVS are not that correct?
        2. Dongfeng has already some stakes in PSA, why in the world would they want yet another platform, on top of the PSA platforms? I guess that they are not that stupid to buy shares in PSA (basically to give them helping hand) without getting some rights to use some of the platforms.
        3. I guess Mahindra, after getting NEVS, would like to choose the production partner in China by themselves. Also I would say it is way to early to deal with the potential production now when the way to the final product is still very veeery long.

        So all of these makes me think that there is nothing else then “saving face” in from of the Chinese authorities. We all know that Kai Johan has good connections with the Chinese authorities and the people at high places. So, my opinion is that NEVS is chasing Dongfeng, and not the other way around. I could almost bet that Dongfeng will get something for almost nothing, just to keep Chinese involvement in NEVS. And that in order for this to not look like a defeat in the eyes of Chinese.

        • There is no Chinese face to be saved. KJJ doesn’t owe any Chinese authority a Chinese connection in NEVS. Chinese authorities are not a small group of people that command all the Chinese business people doing business outside China and demanding of them to establish “Chinese connections” everywhere they work. KJJ has connections with some Chinese authorities, mainly in Shandong province because that’s where most of his business is and that’s where he is a business adviser for the provincial government. This doesn’t mean he has connections in all the high places. If he had some very big connections in the very important places he wouldn’t be in the situation he is right now.
          So Dongfeng is not there just to show their smiling Chinese face. They are there to do business. You know, if some one just wanted Chinese participation in NEVS they wouldn’t need Dongfeng, because there is already a Chinese participation – KJJ is not leaving NEVS. He is probably going to lose the controlling stake in NEVS but adding Dongfeng wouldn’t change anything, DF are not taking a stake in the company. So I don’t think KJJ is chasing Dongfeng just to add more Chinese parts to the equation.

          So why would they need them? Today auto industry is all about partnerships. You see the discussions about how pricey car development is. Mahindra is big and has big resources and probably can cover all the expenses of SAAB by themselves, but this doesn’t mean they would spend more than the needed. If there were a chance for them to lower their expenses by having another big partner without this hurting their interest, why would they be against it? The three parties in these negotiations are aware of each other’s existence. If Mahindra had a problem with the relations with Dongfeng, they would either demand a change of them or would leave the negotiations. So far there are no such indications so I suppose everything is ok. To your question why would Mahindra want to share with a Chinese company a possible answer is – because through this they would get a strong partner in one of the most important markets in the world and they would cut their own expenses. They wouldn’t mind a serious partner just because it was not chosen by them.

          What Dongfeng could get is another brand to sell in China and access to a platform. Yes, they have a big stake in PSA and access to their tech but this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want more. After all SAAB and PSA are competing in different segments. More platforms is never a problem in China. Currently Dongfeng is producing Fengshen branded cars based on platforms of Citroen, Nissan and Honda (I may be missing something), so the use of many platforms with different origin is a typical thing in China.
          It’s all about business.

          • Just this post and I stop posting on this matter:
            I wish so much that you are right, but what confuses me and what you didn’t manage to change my mind is why Dongfeng would invest a dime in Phoenix platform development. As I said they have a menu with PSA platforms, from small cars to big luxury cars, ICE, hybrid, electric, you name it. It might happen that they did not get them all, but I have no illusions here (and as I could see from his posts neither Tim has), Phoenix is already past tense compared to the latest platforms that e.g. PSA have developed. I just don’t think that Dongfeng need to put some money in something that they already have better.

            Think of something else: Chinese are nationalistic (don’t get me wrong I think that is positive for them). KJJ is maybe not leaving NEVS but is getting a role of an observer if Mahindra gets 50+ percent of shares. His plans for building a Chinese factory are probably down in drains. Imagine how this looks like for some Chinese on some important places knowing that he had invested a lot of money in something that didn’t work out and he now is getting help from an Indian company or even worse sell the controlling shares for probably less money to them and not being able to transfer any of the technology to China. So in order for this to look somehow better he now involves Dongfeng by giving them rights to use Phoenix platform, and eventually some contract for building cars in China. And of course Dongfeng will not just smile but do business and in case someone offers them so much for so little they would be in. No risk for them and maybe some profit at the end.
            Sorry for this maybe conspiracy theories here, but I simply can not see that NEVS/SAAB can offer Dongfeng something they would invest loads of money in. PSA cars are competing in all different areas now, lately with the DS brand and special models developed for the Chinese market they are trying to attack even the luxury segment. And I am really sorry that I must say this here, but I don’t see SAAB competing in any segment now.

            • I’m not at all sure PSA has better platforms. They don’t have real premium offerings. Yes, they’ve got the DS range but it still is not what one would call a real premium or even close to it (even PSA executives admit it). Besides, DS models are based on normal Citroens. Phoenix on the other hand has been conceived as a platform for premium cars. Yes, the development of it has taken quite a while, but I don’t think it’s outdated yet. It is not entirely finished so if there is something not enough up to date there is time to fix it. Phoenix is not past tense compared to what PSA has. Remember that PSA themselves have not been in their greatest condition in the resent years.

              Why would important people in important places care about the fact that KJJ’s plans didn’t work out? Chinese business people fail every day all over the world. That’s normal. As I said important people in the authorities don’t evaluate every businessman’s performance and don’t give bad marks when they fail. Nationalistic feelings have nothing to do with this. Chinese are quite pragmatic people also. They don’t have the best relations with half of their neighbors but this doesn’t stop them from doing business with them. There is plenty of business done between India and China.

              There is value for Dongfeng in SAAB. Currently the only thing they make close to being premium is DS, but as I said they have a long way to go. I think I read they are going to start producing Infiniti soon. So by adding SAAB they could try to establish some serious presence in the segment.

  13. Chinese money, Indian money…it doesn’t really matter. Money itself is what is required and it doesn’t care what its origin is. Money is Money.
    If you don’t have it, you can’t do anything. If you Have it then you are off and running. And can do things the way you want.
    ‘SHOW ME THE MONEY!’

  14. Has Dongfeng’s Swedish engineering company done any work for NEVS? If Mahindra take control KJJ may keep majority ownership of the Chinese operations to satisfy legislation?

  15. I’m sorry to be a party killer here guys but all journalists, economists, dealers and car people that used to work at or with Saab is more or less saying the same thing: unless Saab is able to bring out 3-4 new high-tech high-priced prestige models, sell all of them at a loss for 3-4 years while upgrading them, the brand would not survive.

    Looking at the competition like bmw, mercedes etc who can afford to be inovative in a way where they wont risk the future of the brand with one model that turns up wrong, Saab needs to become a financially strong brand on its own and not rely upon outside funding for the next twenty years. There is a huge excess of average cars, but not a lot of high-class top of the line cars, thats where Saab needs to be.

    First on the list is catching up with the others, money does talk but what happens if nobody wants to sell? It was difficult for NEVS to even get hold of ordinary seats for their 9-3, so imagine the job of getting start-stop, hybrid powertrain, camera technology with the software to recognice people animals, pre-crasch, pedpro, efficient engines, LED-head lights, etc etc etc… The list is very long, but the point is that the big ones dont make a lot of money on the base car, the money to develop new cool cars comes from selling the extra tech stuff people want in their cars…

    Saab has perhaps 5 years to get new cars out on the market that are done the right way, but that is not enough time to develop all that tech the others have already today, if done that way, the others would still be years ahead, so to catch up, that tech needs to come, ready-made, from somewhere. Problem is, who’s selling, not many…

    Remember that most of the tech in the ng9-5 was made by gm, not by saab… and thats not an option anymore…

    To be very honest, this is Saabs last chance, they need to get it very right the first time, I would give it a 5% chance of success, mostly because Saab has lost too much momentum over the past five years that I think is very hard to recover… perhaps too hard…

    • Tim, I tend to agree with both you and Angelo. Perhaps producing some lower price cars (not cheap, but at high VW prices) will give Saab some volume whether they are produced in Sweden, China, or India…..and I’m talking about Saabs, not rebadged cars. But, yes, it’s also absolutely necessary to have some prestige models, although perhaps not quite at BMW and Merc prices, but in the 40-55 USD range if sold in the US. You then ask how they’re going to get the technology. Are you saying that NEVS in their two years of ownership did nothing but get the factory running to produce a few 9-3s. If so, they’re even worse that we imagined. But some of the tech you mention should be on the shelf already at Saab. Wasn’t there a lot of work done back in 2011 on a hybrid drive system? There’s the iqon infotainment system There must be plenty of seat manufacturers (perhaps even aircraft seat makers) willing to sell to Saab if they know they’re going to be paid. And that should go across the board; most of this stuff is available in one way or the other. The big job is integrating it into an efficient driver’s car and that’s where Swedish designers and engineers along with Indian counterparts come in.

      • There is nothing of the tech developed pre-bankruptcy left. The electric rear axle system belongs to eAAM, separate company now.

        Iqon was both out-dated and extremely expensive, region of 3-4000 USD retail price for the customer to add it to the car according to guys I’ve talked to from that era…

        Forget absolutely everything that has to do with affordable cars, there is no money to be made unless youre selling a million cars or more, which obviously Saab is never going to do, so its top of the line or no line at all… thats the cold hard truth! 🙁

        • Wrong. You don’t need to sell a million cars to compete in the “more affordable” category. Tim—-clearly, you want Saab to be the technology and luxury leader. But just because that’s the type of Saab you’d like to own or drive—-that doesn’t mean it’s how Saab can succeed or it’s the only way they can make money. In fact, quite the opposite is true—-been there, done that, failed. With a new owner who can produce cars in a lower labor cost region, Saab can have the limited production cars you want, built in Sweden (not sure how many buyers they’ll find, but whatever) and Saab can also brand other cars that people can afford—-and with the right marketing, cars that people will want to own. That’s been done before and it’s worked for other companies. It can work for Saab. Saab isn’t Mercedes or BMW, isn’t Audi or Jaguar. Saab needs to be closer in price to Volkswagen, Subaru, even Mitsubishi and Mazda. That can be done with a new owner based in China or India.

          • WRONG Angelo, you dont know what you are talking about! You are living in a fantasy world and people who understand the industry is laughing at the things you’re writing! Ps, I’m not buying a new Saab again…

            • Yep Tim, those industry insiders who are so knowledgeable—-the ones you’ve been trusting for the last couple years? Is that who you’re referring to? How are things working out for them? They were “the smart guys” right? Good plan they had? Stupid me figured out within 30 seconds that it would be an epic fail.

              • You’ve got no clue whom I’m talking to…. btw, when did you last buy a brand new Saab? I’m curious if you have actually backed up your words with action?

                • Last brand new car I bought was a Saab, August 2004. I have bought a couple used vehicles since then—-most notably a minivan. There were no Saab minivans on the market or I might have considered one. Backing up my words with action means that when I need a car, I will test drive a Saab. Nothing more or less than that. If the idea is that people who like Saab or have liked Saab need to run out and buy one to prove their support—-that’s unlikely to happen. If someone needs a car and they like Saab, I do think considering one is a very good way to show support. Creating the need for a new car when one doesn’t exist—-to run out and buy a Saab—-isn’t loyal, it’s stupid. But none of it matters until they bring something to market and have dealers to sell.

                  • So for the last ten years the only contribution you’ve done for the brand is talk…

                    The point is that there were too many Saab fans like you who would not put up the money to actually buy a car, thousands showed up to support the brand but when guys like Victor put up the cash to actually save it, the fans let him down buy sticking to their old cars… talk about irony…

                    • Well in fairness, I haven’t had a chance the last 3 years to do anything else to help the brand. So I guess from August 2004 until December 2011 (as vultures were circling Muller) I had about 7 years to show my support. I bought the new Saab in 2004. The car currently has about 37,000 miles on it. Should I have sold it and bought a new Saab within 7 years to “show my support?” Is that what all Saab lovers have to do? Sell their low mileage Saab before they want to, to buy another one? Is that what other brands get from their customers? They sold the Saab to us and told us how it will last longer than most other new cars on the road—-it costs a little more but you can keep it and drive it longer. So I guess I took that literally. By the way, the new car before that one was a ’93 BMW 325i that my wife bought. That one is also still in my fleet. Had it out on the weekend in fact. Nice handling. Love it.

                    • Tim, the last thing I would do is lay out tens of thousands to show my support. I lay out tens of thousands because I want the car that makes sense for me in terms of size, driveability, aesthetics, quality, etc. etc. Since 1982, I’ve done that by buying ten new Saabs, the last one a 2011 9-3X SC that I bought “new” in December 2012 with 65 miles on it. That was a SWAN Saab, but did nothing to help the company as they were bankrupt by then. I was planning to buy a 9-5SC in 2011 but that of course never happened.

                      And VIctor failed for a variety of reasons, not having deep enough pockets and the GM problem probably the biggest. He never had a chance to sell the 9-5SC, the 9-4, or his new 9-3, all of which would have brought eager buyers to the showrooms, some present or former Saab owners, some new customers. So I don’t think the fans let him down by sticking to their cars, they didn’t have a Saab to buy that fit their needs or pocketbooks.

                    • Hugh: Sadly, the story of Saab for at least 30 years running has been that “they didn’t have a Saab to buy that fit the needs or pocketbooks of enough people.” That’s just a fact. How can anyone argue against that assertion? Now, They had combis in two different sizes (3 if you count the 9-2 as a little wagon). They had sedans in two different sizes. They had a convertible and they had a sport utility vehicle. At the end of Muller’s run, they had another sport utility vehicle. Sedans, wagons, sport utes and a convertible. Hard to believe that none of these Saabs fit the needs of enough people. Ahh, but they did. In fact, those models, collectively, fit the needs of MOST drivers I’d say. So, what went wrong? Oh, that’s it—-the OTHER part of your equation—-the pocketbook. The Saabs, in most cases, didn’t fit the POCKETBOOK of most people. If that doesn’t change, Saabs fortunes will never change. “Premium” in the minds of the people who post here is all well and good. They want a “Premium” Saab and will settle for no less and they’re willing to pay for it. Problem is that this tiny handful of people has never been enough to make money for Saab. And when it was put to a vote out in the real world, the overwhelming masses rejected $55,000 Saabs. Game over. Literally. If we start a new game, let’s not make that mistake again.

            • Oh, and as far as these industry guys laughing at my comments—-if they’re the ones I suggested they are—-you can let them know more than a few of us have had a good laugh at their expense the last couple years.

          • How much does labor affect the cost of a car? I’m of the impression that there’s about 30 hours of labor in a car built in an efficient plant. If that’s true, and the labor cost delta is $30, thats about $1,000 per car. In a race to the bottom, that might make a difference when selling a 20-25K car. But above that, if the buyer perceives value in a Swedish built vs. Indian or Chinese car, in competition with US and Asian cars, they’ll pay the difference. And Saab could probably be profitable with Swedish built cars only for western europe and NA if they could build and sell a mix of cars from 30-55K in the US with a volume in the 150K range. It will be a long time before they have a shot at selling cars in the 70K range of the BMW 6 series.

        • That isn’t always how it works. It isn’t that simple. Luxury goods have huge margins of profit and hardly ever sell at a loss. In late 2013 Apple held less than 20% of the smartphone market in numbers but pocketed almost 90% of industry profits for smartphones. That’s the way to do it. Boutique is where the profit is while selling to the masses is basically a social duty.

    • “Looking at the competition like bmw, mercedes etc …” Yep, you’re right Tim. If that’s who Saab believes their competition should be…they will flop again, really fast. Big flop.

      • Again, you dont know what you’re talking about…

        Saab never made a cent on selling “affordable” cars so lets not try that again. Biggest profit makers in Saabs history was 9-4X and NG9-5 Aero… Too bad they sold so few…

        • They sold so few for a reason Tim. Volkswagen has needed the occasional punch in the mouth to keep them in their rightful place. Once in a while, they get this notion that they should build an expensive car because they think they can compete. Maybe it’s an ego thing—don’t really know. Then they do something stupid like the Phaeton, that no one buys. That’s the punch in the mouth. Then they redesign the Passat and Jetta and sell them for thousands less than the older Passats—-and they sell fast and many. Hasn’t Saab had enough punches to the mouth to understand that they’re not BMW?

          • Eeeh? Have you heard about Audi? Last I heard it was fully owned and operated by VW, look inside that car btw, built with VW parts, VW is the volume, Audi is the money… PS, you still dont get it…

          • What makes you believe that the Phaeton is a failure? It is hard to calculate in terms of profit vor VW, but the Phaeton was meant as a image enhancer to VW, and I am pretty sure that this has worked out. Imho, Europeans want to to see that a manufacturer from which they buy a car is competent. Something GM has not understood, so they killed the Opel Senator/Omega, and look at the state that Opel is in right now.

            Further, the same platform has been used with great success for the Bentley Continental line, and overall, I am pretty sure that the development costs for the platform could be recovered.

        • I actually think Angelo has a very valid point. Saab should not try to make another Audi, BMW or Mercedes. Saab should go their own way and do cars that are great in other respects. The one thing that has been a hallmark of Saab is that they have been bold enough to go their own route, and that is likely to attract enough customers. I thing Kjell AC Bergström put it right, it should be a car that make people turn their heads and ask “that was that?” A Saab should always have non-mainstream elements to make people curious, but not in a way that make most people reject it.

          • Of course the design should reflect that think different style, I agree with that, but in order to make money Saab has to aim high since it does not have the production volume to support the costs of more affordable models, the need to compete in the 40k Euro class or it wont work…

            • Wouldn’t the new Saab have access to other factories already producing vehicles that sell for far less? Could they use that production capacity to sell a Saab that people could afford and would actually buy?

                • It would be a car sold as a Saab. I thought the 9-2 was terrific. I’d rather see Saabs that are rebranded from other cars—-than no Saabs. There’s still the opportunity for styling variations, interior upgrades, suspension tweaks, etc. Changes that the Saab engineers can make add up. If you gave Saab engineers an $18,000. Chevy Cobalt and told them they could work with that car—-improve it—-but it would need to sell for under $25,000., I have no doubt that a car could be produced that I would spend $24,999 to own. That’s a big leap—-18K to 25K—-a lot of really significant improvements could be made for that money. Would that make the car “a Saab?” No. It would be a shared platform that started life as a Chevy Cobalt and is now being sold as a Saab. But that’s not to say it couldn’t be worthy of purchasing. You have a few of these cars selling and generating profits—-and that sets the table for two more lines made in Sweden that can sell for twice as much.

                  • Angelo part sharing is what destroyed Saabs image with GM..for many.

                    Not sure that would work sadly out of the gate… Saabs rep is hammered and the last thing is for critics to say its a re badge or bin Vehicle. Maybe later but Saab needs the first car to be Real Saab.

        • They certainly ran out of time. Both could have been successful with time and a couple of tweaks. I was one who purchased a NG9-5 Aero pre-bankruptcy. I certainly went into it knowing it was risky, although I had no idea that GM could block nearly all moves to raise cash. If I had that info, I probably would not have purchased the vehicle. Having said all that, the car has been a real joy so far-despite the anxiety that went along with losing my warranty and questions about parts availability.

        • Another issue in North America, was the physical state of many of these dealers. Some seemed like mom and pop operations and could easily be confused with used car dealers. Locally, the dealer was on a street known for used car sales and prostitutes. Not the location people looking for a $50K USD vehicle usually go. Other upmarket vehicles have dealers that are very sleek and flashy, and that brings in the people who can buy or lease more expensive vehicles. Saab did not have many of these in North America – not sure how they were in Europe and Australia.

          • Baver: Ain’t that the truth. Many of the stand-alone dealerships were sketchy. I guess the ones in Cadillac showrooms had nice buildings and real estate—-and had salespeople vying for the Cadillac commissions. I’ve always felt that if GM folded Saturn into Saab it would have given Saab a full line of cars and some major upgrades in the dealership locations.

          • Bäver (Swedish for Beaver), I never saw any short-skirted women near Garry Small Saab in Portland (eastside) Bet Monte Sheltons garage on the west side is in a better neighborhood.

            • Oh, they are around. You’ll also find plenty of their “supplies.” Meanwhile, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes have all opened up gleaming new showrooms. The Tesla store is pretty slick as well. Garry Small’s location and vibe has probably saved him through all this crap. Rent can’t be too high.

  16. dcpattie agreed and also you TIM,,, That is why the name has value but how much ??? Obviously something… If Saab AB or Mahindra try to squeeze to hard they will end up with Lemon juice… , Lets hope Mahindra has some Tech in the suitcase that is updated… They more than likely very well may. Just a hunch… If not, i can’t imagine why this deal would be made. No matter Saabs last chance depends on a Major car maker wanting the name,, and like what they see with the so called great Phoenix. That is what is happening right now,,,

    Deal Points

    Brand buy out, vs License

    Percentage of deal

    Viewing Phoenix under a confidentiality agreement ( tricky )

    Restrictions placed On Mahindra for Saab name. such as production locations etc.

    Getting rid of Nevs for the most part.

    Total cost to get in..

    just a simple overview of the deal..

    Mahindra is in the driver seat.

    • agree!

      I simply dont see any other way for this to work unless Saab comes out with a 6-series compeditor that they can sell 2-300’000 cars of, over a five year period and make a big profit with…

      • Selling 2-300000 6-series competitors seems to ambicious for brand in coma for so long.
        Improve quality, safety, engines and don’t feel ashame to ask the right money for that.
        It is important to have a 9-1/9-2 Luxury ASAP (yes expensive, build reputation/branding from it like Fiat 500); Try to sell over 70000 while selling new 9-3 sedans and Combi and 9-5 (or whatever)..

        • Does Mini operate on these volumes? Are they profitable with their product mix? I think Mini may be the closet comparison to Saab when it comes to volume & number of product offerings. Does anyone know if they are profitable? I think they are…if so, why can’t Saab make money with the comparable volumes and only a couple of models. I’m not doubting you Tim, it just seems to me that the volumes you’re talking about may be inaccurate when it comes profitability. Can anyone answer these questions?

          • I’ve heard that BMW actually had troubles running Mini profitable, despite the relatively high prices and the product range expansion. Whether this has changed in the mean time, I can’t say.

            • You are right, just this morning came news that BMW will make big cuts in the mini and 1-series which they are not able to make profits from!

  17. I think Mahindra will give it a go,,, what that plan is who knows… The price needs to be right vs risk… Saab AB is really more important in this then Nevs… Nevs is in trouble Saab AB needs to agree its the willingness to allow the brand name to be used and bought at some point.. In my humble opinion.

    • Maybe Saab AB thinks it is great that an Indian company invest in Saab Cars. Saab have been trying to sell fighters to India for several years. This can be a door opener also for the fighter business.

      • Saab AB are actively selling promoting various defence material systems to India. Who knows what is going on behind closed doors right now. Saab giving the name to Mahindra for purchase of missiles by the Indian government. Sweden got a lot of wine and alloy wheels from South Africa after the Saab 39 Gripen sales/rentals.

  18. Is it now 4 weeks gone after NEVS informed about 4 weeks productions stop? Iguess that production does not start again tomorrow…

      • Anyone surprised ?
        I’m unfortunately not.

        A four week production stop, place right before the holidays?
        Negotiations most definitely begun much earlier and they (Nevs) thought they would be done and have a deal prior to the four weeks was over.

        Their policy have been “Under promise and over deliver” and I think they would apply that principle to all public time frames given as well. Especially one as important as a production stop !

        But if things have gone so long as to a production stop even when negotiations are on their way, it’s hard to stop the ball from rolling.

        Sorry to say but when I heard about this production stop the first time I gave up hope and to me everything seems to be pointing in that direction we all have been through once or twice before.

        • from what I’ve seen, the little they’ve promised was over promised and the little they’ve delivered was under delivered.

          • Two falsehoods we collectively bought into or assumed:
            1) They had money
            2) They knew what they were doing—were smart car guys.

            Both of those turned out to be very wrong. Their financial situation was shaky and based on the little they accomplished that we heard about or got to see—-they didn’t really know much. They were learning to crawl as far as the car business goes. I feel badly for the Saab faithful who would come here and cheer—whooping it up for NEVS, as though serious progress was being made and fresh Saabs were about to hit the street. What a bizarre chapter for Saab. I hope it’s not the final chapter—-but wow, it was a really strange two years, very peculiar.

  19. Wrong!
    Many of you forget that Saab is the tool & platform to develop multiple models for multiple brands for multiple nr of years. Its like building up à new GM where Saab takes centre stage. A bank where different companies invest in and take out different benefits and profits, information or know-how. Some say à 5 year plan is make or break, but what if the plan is 15 years? What if Saab is set to get more siblings, why this thinking that Saab will b all alone in the hands of new owners.

    • Good point, and what would all of that cost?… more important, who is going to pay? Its roughly 700 million Euro per car in startup and development costs… that money needs a return date when its been paid back. How far into the future is that date?

      • Tim, are you implying that any new car has to start from scratch? are you saying that not only is there no 9-3 almost ready to go, but that the facelifted 9-3s in various formats (sedan, vert, and SC) are not done, that the phoenix platform and the cars that would use it is still back at square one, as I remember you saying, from 80% back to 60%. Have these guys been more talk and hot air than Victor when we’ve been told they preferred to work behind the scenes. At least Victor brought out a new 9-5, the 9-4, had the 9-5SC almost ready to go, and done important design work on the next 9-3 and the Phoenix. I know, I know, NEVS doesn’t have the GM IP, but really?

        • There is nothing ready to go, Saab needs four brand new cars, all developed on the phoenix platform and that means starting from scratch. Victor could use GM tech in the platform NEVS could not which is why they’ve gone backwards in terms of percentage. NEVS has done a lot of work on the platform but its still a long way from being able to support a new product. During the days of VM, there were roughly 2000 engineers at Saab, sometimes as much as 4000 working for Saab, NEVS had about 800 at best…

          • It’s actually surprising to hear that NEVS might have had as many as 800 engineers—-that’s almost beyond shocking. If that was reported, I missed it.

              • By stating that you show how very little you know about what it takes to create and develop changes into a car… they had to redesign big parts of the floor and electric system to accomodate the new seats for example, loads done in suspension and engine. Plus creating a new electric car which is almost done, all of that in 1,5 years…

                  • Last I heard they had a couple of street registered electric cars being tested, the work to set up the production line was complete and the car was entering its final stages of development.

                    • They have at least 4:

                      HMU225 Electric test vehicle, currently not registered (avställd), Acquired 2014-06-09
                      CSB476 Electric test vehicle, currently not registered (avställd), Acquired 2014-06-09
                      MN0335 Electric test vehicle, currently not registered (avställd), Acquired 2014-06-09
                      EJO420 Electric test vehicle, currently not registered (avställd), Acquired 2014-06-09

                      All of them are sedans unfortunately. When I did some random lookups on vehicles registered in their (Nevs) name with the DMV I couldn’t find any SC.

                  • I didn’t say they said anything that wasn’t true. I was guessing that they simply withheld the truth—-withheld information. It’s like this Beakon: You have a daughter who just started college. It’s toward the end of the second semester—-and every morning, she gets up, grabs her books, kisses you goodbye, gets in her car and leaves. You come to find out that she flunked out during the first semester. Did she lie to you? No, she didn’t. She never told you she flunked out though. And by getting up in the morning and making it look like she was going to school—-she implied that things were good when they weren’t. NEVS was going through the motions and apparently never volunteered that their money was gone. Is that dishonest? You be the judge. I have a few ideas.

            • They actually didnt lie about that, but investments from the chinese stopped in november 2013, so they had to change their plans due to lack of money…

              • They never gave you any impression Tim the facelift was in no way going to be ready by fall 2014. Also is it possible the Chinese didn’t release the founds because they didn’t like what they were seeing??? just a thought.

  20. Tim I get the feeling your attitude has changed from the days when nevs were the best thing since sliced bread , you seem to have given up on saab in a few of your comments above, honestly this news may be the best thing that could have happened to saab

    • Lets just say that I’ve come to see things from a business view rather than an enthusiasts view. Those two worlds are very far apart. In the end, this is a business and last time Saab was in trouble I was blinded by my enthusiastic view, this time I’m not.

      • I understand that but you are an enthusiast , why run a of if not ? Also saab is not your ” business” so I can’t see why you are getting upset with wrong people , I don’t see point of anyo d getting upset with it anymore – the people who matter don’t listen!

        • I have invested a lot of time and money on SU and built up relationships etc in order to keep the Saab world informed of whats going on, its been a huge amount of work sometimes fun work but there are people here who have no clue as to the inner workings of a car company, who are self tauth “experts” and I’m sick and tired of trying to explain things over and over and over… as for Saab I still talk to many in former and current management and I can see where this is heading 🙁 last time Saab was in trouble the future of my family and friends lives was at stake, most of them worked at Saab, this time its not…

  21. What if Saab could start from the bottom up? Build a smaller premium car, the 9-1? After all, isn’t that their heritage? Small, practical, fun cars? People would be more willing to buy a new/risky brand small second car for the side, because it’s less of a risk than a big priced sedan. Look how quickly Mini made a come back. The Fiat 500 is back in the US now. Saab might as well be a new brand coming in again. People will take the risk on a small fun safe car, and fall in love with Saab all over again. By that time, get a Pheonix 9-3 ready, and people have something to move up to. When it comes time to replace their family car, they’ll think to give Saab a try, because they’ve had such a great experience with their small car.

    Saab did a great job turning bland GM platforms into something of great quality. My 2007 9-3, despite having nearly 150,000 miles on it still feels much better to drive than new cars I’ve driven for the occasional rental (Nissan). The seats are still more comfortable for long trips than most other cars. Sure, there’s cheap materials used for some things on the interior that might not hold up to higher end Euro brands, but considering it’s a car basically from 2002, more than 10 years later I think it’s competitive. Turn a compact Mahindra into a Saab. Take on Mini and Fiat in the US and expand upwards from their as a premium brand.

    • Perfect post Daniel. If Mahindra can buy into Saab—-make this purchase happen—and if they implement the idea you just expressed—-they would indeed begin the process of rebuilding Saab to be stronger than Saab has ever been. Yes, it would start with the type of car you described. That could be the seed or to put it another way, the bread and butter to build on.

      • A small hatchback would I think satisfy many Saab fans, bringing at least some who were lost over the years back. Make it really nice, a powerful turbo right sized engine in there, keep the interior simple and clean with top quality materials and take a hint from the 9-X biohybrid and take Mini head on, taking their customers or at least getting them to notice. It’d be the cheapest car Saab would make going forward, but not be a cheap car. It’d be the best compact sport hatch on the market, and then grow up towards Jaguar territory. Give an alternative to higher end sports coups that have decent headroom and storage. I just don’t think they can jump in the deep end and expect people to put up big money for a car that never had a reputation for being the most luxurious, or the highest performing. To me Saab has always sat in just the right place in between quality, performance, comfort and practicality. Lots of competition has caught up, from the low end. So if the Pheonix “9-3” isn’t going to be ready, done right soon enough, I’d say take a small step with a smaller car until they’re ready to prove to the world what they can do.

        • A Swedish GTI. But I would also offer a tamed version for people who want the utility of the hatch with more affordability. It would be like the Golf and Golf GTI.

        • I’d go along with the small hatchback plans but make it a Golf/Jetta like situation where the 9-3 Sports sedan also comes in a smaller 3 door/5 door hatch sharing many parts and panels. The 3 door can even use the basic 2 door convertible’s doors. Saab actually planned something like this with the 9-3SS in 2002, but due to drastic cuts in it’s budget it was never able to develop such plans.

    • And what would the business case for such a car be? I can tell you right now that in order to get the dealers onboard, you’d need a whole range of products which both Saab and the dealers can earn a big profit from…

      • I partially disagree. You only need one single smashing product to start with. That said, it’s not the only thing you need to get going.

        • Honda started in the U.S. with the Civic. One car, which was laughed at by the “experts.” It came out when cars like the Cadillac Eldorado were ruling American roads. Honda offered a simple, inexpensive car that wasn’t spectacular at anything, but was competent at just about everything—made it reliable and sold it at a price that attracted buyers. They eventually gave in to their customers who wanted another Honda but needed a bigger Honda. That spawned the Accord. Well, lots has happened since then. I’d say Honda is doing pretty well, having started with a small, affordable car when others laughed at the notion and said it would never work. Ditto, Saab today. Let’s please make that “Mahindra-Saab.”

          • And Hyundai started with the Pony!
            But there are no comparisons to be made. Both Honda and Hyundai were well established corporations with lot’s of resources to fund there foray into the car industry. It was also a time where small affordable cars were rare, unlike today where they are a dime a dozen. It’s very hard to make money on small affordable units, pushing everybody toward the top end of the market where there is only so much cream to be divided. And then you have BMW and Tesla who are already there covering the EV and hybrid segments with more coming. And Nissan and even the poor little Mitsubishi are covering the EV low end segment. Of course, between the low end and the high end, you have every conceivable car in every imaginable style, power mode and size competing to get our hard earned silver. Not to much place in there for a battered brand whose name is licensed by a sound company not interested in bad press associated with their name anymore and a partially developed already old «new» platform and of course no dealer network and some debts. Must I go on?

    • The critics would destroy Saab if they did this. They need a strong car fast something that is exciting and in general scores well with reviews. priced around 30 to 35,000 thousand.

      • The car scribe doesn’t have a history of consistent love for Saab. They love Porsche, BMW, Honda—-Saab, not so much. The moment Saab engineers start worrying about what Car & Driver magazine thinks is the moment their next bankruptcy foundation is put down. I think people do look at the reliability ratings in Consumer Reports, so I hope whatever they build is a dependable car. Nothing will run a cold shower over a new start-up if the cars get a fast reputation for being shop bound.

        • Angelo if they spend with them(advertising) The reviews will improve..They need however their own car and not pieced off… Sadly not sure now with all this wasted time …Years away .

          • I don’t see any path forward for them to start with a brand new Phoenix based Saab or anything like that. Doug—-if you don’t want a shared platform or rebadged product—-if you insist on “their own car” it will have to be the venerable 9-3 if you expect it within a couple years. There will be no “From the ground up Saab” sooner—-no new model. That’s just the way it is. So they can come back with the 9-3 series, sedan, combi and convertible with not many changes—-made in Sweden and priced around 40K. Or they can reskin a product that’s already in the family—badged as a Saab—-and maybe sell that in the 20s. They can do both in fact. But the notion of new models, fresh new Saabs, never before seen—-that’s not going to happen for a long time.

    • This is the way to go also from my perspective. The new Saabs must be affordable until the brand value has been restored. If Tim and his branch experts are right, thus implying that new Saabs must be of the more prestigious kind, then let those cars be smaller size cars so that they can still be affordable for normal hard working people. I’m not sure about Tim’s discussion partners being right though. Too me a lot of automotive experts seems to be too narrow minded to take the automotive business to the next level. I see a lot of thinking inside the box, and little outside the box. Sure, maybe they know the current market, but what do they know about the future? With only expensive big luxury Saabs, I think it will truly be the end for Saab. It’s simply not the Saab spirit! Ideally, Saab should become something like Apple in terms of re-inventing the market and re-defining consumer needs. Heck, even inventing new undiscovered needs! With the right products it has been shown to be possible. Look how Apple did it, starting out with an affordable product like the Ipod ending up with the prestigious Iphone. Give me the Steve Jobs of Saab! And on this final point of finding the perfect future product, I deeply disagree with Angelo V. Just continuing with ICE because it’s possible over another decade or so will not save Saab. EVs must be part of the solution not only for Saab, but for the whole planet. Though, in other aspects I share a lot of your views Angelo V.

      • I’d like nothing more than to have the 900 style cars back which were affordable, cool and fast, but we dont live in that age any more. Consider your words, there is a huge difference between an apple product and a car, the difference in development costs, production costs and bring to market costs is in factor of hundreds of millions… you simply cant compare user electronics with that of a car…

        • I don’t fully agree. Sure every market segment has its own particularities, but the laws of economics are always the same. The comparison does not lack merit and the difference between different markets is smaller than your words would suggest. My point is that it’s more an issue of beeing proned to think in terms of needs, than thinking in terms of right or wrong or as the case may be, thinking in terms of possible or impossible. If SaabNevs estimates that prestige/luxury it the primarily need to fulfill in future customers I respectfully disagree – it’s a mirage that this will lead to sucess. If SaabNevs can find/invent needs that make people want to pay an equivalant price as somebody would pay for a e.g. luxuray Jaguar, than Saab might have found something for the future. Too many people are still in the box, thinking… but in vain I’m afraid..

          • Although, I regocnise that this requires large investments. I’m in a visionary mood. What I’m saying is, if the money is there, this is how I would like SaabNevs to spend them. Steve Job’s style! 😉 Maybe Karl Johan Jiang is the man?

          • Bottom line you build a product that fits a need or niche is better or cooler, priced competitively it will sell., if consumers have a chance to hear about it and see it and test it .

            The product at that point will sell itself. Product, , price, placement, promotion.

        • Although, I regocnise that this requires large investments. I’m in a visionary mood. What I’m saying is, if the money is there, this is how I would like SaabNevs to spend them. Steve Job’s style! 😉

      • I think in 15 years the Chinese will have figured out how to do thorium nuclear power, and with thorium, all kinds of substitute fuels for gasoline and diesel will be possible and easily available. So I would not agree that ICE cars are not the way of the future.

        Now maybe there will be some kind of breakthrough in batteries but that is asking for a lot. Batteries have been around for a hundred years and really haven’t improved a lot. It will take a quantum leap in both storage and content to get a battery operated car that has the abilities (price, range and refueling) of an ICE car.

        • The Chinese are certainly trying, from what I’ve read. The good ole USA is just leaving it to private investors. But, the fact that there is private money in LFTR research makes me optimistic that it’s the energy of the future. And, as you said, we could still have clean ICE vehicles.

  22. I just dont get how some of u think! Do you really think SAAB can ever compete to, lets say ford, Vw, seat, renault, skoda, toyota, subaru or mini? No chanse for a new player there if u dont stand out in some way. No i think SAAB need to aim towards Alfa, Jaguar or Lexus but still need to do there own thing. I even think that SAAB could aim for maserati and porsche and really do those wierd cars with insane tech, design not seen before, expensive interior materials and maby look at tesla how they made its interior. But i dont think i ever gonna se a new saab again sadly.. NG9-5 was maby good looking and nice to drive, but not even close to good enough..

    • Does Mini really compete with ford, seat, skoda, toyota and subaru? My impression has always been that since being revived by BMW they’re a bit more upscale than the others you mentioned. A small car doesn’t have to mean a cheap car. Why couldn’t Saab build a great, small car, and start there? If it would be easier and quicker to take on that with an existing platform, it could get Saabs name back out there and they could grow upwards from there. Make a small Saab to compete with the Lexus CT. It’s easier for more people to get into an unproven car at $30,000 than it is $60,000. How many people bought a new MacBook Pro because they started out with an iPod? The iPod was never cheap, it wasn’t always more feature packed that competitors, but it was desirable, and a product that was in a price range that many people could take a chance on. Then, they naturally begin to move up Apple’s product line, into more expensive items once they have trust in the brand’s quality and experience. Saab needs their iPod. I’m not suggesting they should compete with ford and toyota with a small car, Saab obviously will never be a big volume player like that. But they do need to get their old customers and new ones to have a reason to check them out.

      • How many would they need to sell in a year to make profit if priced at 30k? I can tell you that its way more than Saab has ever produced before… each car must pay for its own development costs plus fund the advances in tech needed for its replacement. Development costs today are about 900 million USD, do the math 🙂

        • Tim, let me ask you this from your perspective of Saab. Say that all goes well with the deals being made with Mahindra and Dongfeng. If you had to walk into a boardroom tomorrow and lay out the best plan you can think of to save this company within the next five years, what would you think is the best course of action? In relation to the current Phoenix development, current and potential funds, the factory, the other platforms these two newcomers have, and the lack of a dealership network.

          What would you think is the best thing to do, if you had to get the ball rolling in July?

          • Difficult question, but in the view of the dealers who knows best which cars actually sell at a healthy profit considering Saabs low volumes, its high-price & high-tech. I’d say start with two cars launched in 2019, 9-5 SS/SC/X and 9-3 SS/SC/X. All cars with the same turbo gasoline/biopower, diesel and electric drive with range extension engines but in different configurations. 2020 should have the 9-2 and 9-4, 9-2 as a two door coupe/convertible as a performance sports car á la Aero X, the 9-4 as a big three/five door hatch-back, similar to the BMW4 grand Coupe. All competing with Audi, BMW, Mercedes and of course Volvo. But most important, they need to launch the Sedan and Combi at the same time both with X version four wheel drive available as option.

              • But would anyone notice? Saab coming late to the table. I realize a smaller car with a lower – though still premium price tag – would not get huge profits going. But it could get the brand going, get the name out there, get noticed, be something cool and a little bit different. It would be something new for Saab, not just another 9-3/9-5 variant going after the A4 and 3 Series. What’s going to make a BMW, Audi or Merc customer decide to go over the Saab dealer? They’re the customers who are probably most aware of Saabs shortcomings and troubles in recent years. Why would they want to part with their hard earned money to take a chance on a pricey big fancy sedan from a company that they think might not make it (again)? Saab has to start somewhere, and I just think if a truly great, competitive and above all FINISHED Pheonix based car isn’t going to be ready in time, perhaps a smaller project based off an existing platform from a new owner/partner could be a good option to get things going. And anyway, would a new 9-3 be able to be sold for enough money to cover it’s entire cost and fund future projects? At this point, I don’t think anything Saab puts out would will be able to from the start. That’s why everyone talks about needing someone with deep pockets, right?

                I’ve also always thought Saab really needs to get out into pop culture more. Get a car placed in a movie, get some celebrities to drive/endorse them. I know that sort of thing isn’t cheap, either, but they’ve really got to do something and I don’t think the advertising of old is going to be a worthwhile ROI.

                • Deep pockets is one thing but youll find that rich people dont spend money on such a thing as a car brand to satesfy our hunger for a cool car, they do it to become even richer and they want to earn that money back within 5-10 years at the latest…

                • Saab had great placement in Seinfeld. My take is almost the opposite of Tim’s here. I think the owner before this owner—-and his management—-built expensive Saabs that THEY would like to own, THEY would like to drive. To me, that was like a hobbyist buying the company to make cars for their clique, without regard to the market. I think the stronger business case is for a more pedestrian car that more people can afford to own. Production of that product guarantees one extremely important thing: Your audience of potential buyers is much, much, much larger. True, there’s more competition at the lower end too. But there’s going to be cut throat competition in every segment—-Kia to Lamborghini. That $50,000 range has an incredibly well defined, established and very rich group of companies selling cars. Japanese brands, European brands, American brands and now the Koreans are trying to get into the same mix. $50,000 and up is literally saturated with technologically advanced cars from the most sophisticated manufacturers in the world—-cars that drive themselves. That is freakin’ Mount Everest to try to climb that market segment. Saab stands a much better chance trading on the name Saab—-associated with “better, more expensive European cars” by selling in the VW range, maybe a little higher—-easier to compete with the cars themselves—-they aren’t on par with the luxury marque cars. And there are infinitely more people who can afford a $28,000 car than a $58,000 car. That’s just a simple fact and it’s not up for debate. More buyers or potential buyers are at the lower end. I’d take my chances there to get the cars on the road and the name back in the public eye. They’d make a much bigger splash selling a Saab that is less expensive than anyone ever expected to pay for a Saab—-then one that is sticker shock expensive. That drives people out of Saab showrooms, to the arms of BMW, Mercedes or others. Time for Saab to know their place.

        • Ya I think People really don’t get that Tim…Its Billions for 3 to 4 Vehicles…

          Saab Needs something stunning whatever it be, at 30 to 35,000.. It may require some of the production in India. Assembled in Sweden not sure… At the Thirty to 35,000 price point it gives them a shot. Maybe slight loss or break even point but it puts them back into play..

          Make no mistake the car needs to be a winner among the car critics, that isn’t so easy… Also a ton of promo and Marketing with a strong message we our here to stay better than ever.

  23. Investment partner with a bigger existing car company could have some advantages nobody mentioned which is being a subcontractor, not just for design/engineering but maybe building other brand cars on same assembly line, Saab did it before under GM (both ways – BLS made at Saab factory and the outsourced 9-2, 9-7 and 9-4), other car companies do it all the time. Would generate revenue and utilize factory capacity, keep a workforce. It would have been nice if it were BMW but maybe a Mahindra is looking at that aspect, not just the name but the factory and added capacity and what else to do with it. Just a thought….

  24. So to ask bluntly, has this whole NEVS thing been a waste time? Lets say that Mahindra had been allowed to buy the Saab assets during the bankruptcy and the stipulation of buying the parts company hadn’t been there. Is everything up to this point just a big waste, since Mahindra could have been building a plan and getting things going? Since it really seems like time is of the essence with anything Saab related.

    I know NEVS has done a lot with suppliers and such, but what could Mahindra have possibly done in that time? (hypothetically, of course).

      • Is it that close to being completed? Say they had the two year time frame, plenty of funds, and could do it all over again.

        Would the Phoenix platform be it a finalizing phase by now?

        • The mercurial Pheonix platform at this stage has been stop/go so many times, which means probably each time it gets going again, chances are that its a whole new team working on it.

          Not exactly a recipe for a cohesive end result.

          • Well, I think you have missed the 9000 development story. That project was also a stop/go project over a long time. From a engineering standpoint, having the ability to go back and fix underlying non optimal design decisions in version 2 without relaxed time restraints is almost a dream scenario, and designing out GM parts might have given that opportunity. Because the impact of design decisions often isn’t evident until much later, so I think Phoenix version 2 have the chance to be a real cracker due to the long design cycle, and thus the extra opportunities to rethink, reiterate and optimize the design. But it has to be finished…

  25. To Angelo: Please, please, open your own blogsite. You have many good and bad points. You have many ‘opinions’. But you seem to enjoy posting thoughts and then reading responses (which bring even further posts) more than the fact that you DO have a point or opinion. Open your own web/blogsite, PAY for it, and see how many people VISIT your site.

    To Tim: I thought that Angelo was getting ‘under your skin’ until I realised that you were negative not only to him (the ongoing pissing match that the two of you seem to have for each other), but for SAAB in general. If you are no longer a SAAB “enthusiast” (as you put it, …in the past…when blinded by enthusiam rather than FACTS), then I encourage you to offer for sale your stake in the ownership of SaabsUnited. I have no clue as to the reason for your sudden disdain for the brand that you have been such an advocate for. Perhaps you were upset with the fact that some other media source ‘broke’ the news …..while you held it in strict confidence as agreed between you and your “source”? Or perhaps your stated views are genuine, and you need to move on. I have not, nor will not give up on Saab until I KNOW that Saab no longer exists.

    I want your enthusiasm and your journalistic integrity…….BACK.

    • Tim and I agree sometimes, disagree other times. I’m not important enough to get under his skin. We do not have a long history of any sort of pissing contest—-this one thread has seen a skirmish but that’s not usually the case. It’s probably an oversimplification, but I think the realization that has overcome some people (possibly including Tim) that NEVS was a man behind a curtain—-not any sort of Wizard. They didn’t invest in substance—-they performed a laser light show and the “things” some thought they saw were 3-D images maybe, but not reality. Finding out they’ve spent two years in a charade and basically gotten nowhere—–it’s like telling a kid there’s no Santa Claus for the people who just realized NEVS has no Phoenix based car anywhere near production, electric 9-3 not in production, redesign/facelift 9-3, zilch, zippo, nada. That’s hard to accept if you expected something different. I didn’t. I’m cool with this. I wrote here in 2013 that my hope was that this failure which was bound to happen would happen sooner rather than later to open the door for Mahindra to try to buy Saab again. Is it happening? I’m not in a position to know. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that maybe Mahindra will finally have a chance to see what they can do with the Saab name.

      • I hope for the best, regardless whom the suitors may be. That was not the point of my post. You seem to thrive on your own ‘intellectual dialogue” and the subsequent responses. I do not enjoy visiting this site to see ‘Angelo’s” ongoing posts. I enjoy reading posts from like-minded Saab enthusiasts that say little and do much.

      • I think the reality has brought stress and tension due to Nevs doings .. Two and half years of wasted time is absolutely devastating to the Saab Brand.

        I saw it for months and months, Angelo did and others.. Tim is pissed I guess. Can’t blame him.

        • The time wasted and the missed opportunity because of what was decided, Spring 2012—-is heartbreaking to me. Saab fans around the world deserved better. Much more importantly, Sweden and the people living in that strong town where Saabs were manufactured—-THEY deserved better too.

    • Barry, are you suggesting that Angelo and Tim be dispatched together on a long trip in a small boat with no outside communications capabilities until they embrace the proper like-mindedness?

    • Hey Barry maybe Tim is talking reality now OK,,, If you don’t like someones post Don’t Read it. Skip over it… If you have something to say it. Who cares if someone posts several times If they are valid points or not which may be subjective as to the validity of ones opinion.

    • BarryMemphis and others, we at SU did not break this news, it was a deliberate decision to wait and see. then SvD “broke” the new and we felt obligated to our readers to follow up as the premier Saab information source on the web. (at least our hope is to be regarded as that). We try to do our homework and see this from multifaceted views. Tim might be the “realists” and I might be the “historical enthusiast”. We work well in the SU crew in supporting each other and discuss small and BIG issues. Hey it has been a roller coaster for some years now that is true and at times I feel it is the gods testing us in our faith. I say we are all believers here at SU otherwise we would not be here as editors/crew or the international crowd wanting to have their say or ideas known to the people at the site. EVERYONE please have faith, the darkness is eventually going to be replaced with light. I still think something good will come out. For the right buyer the price is right and there is still a lot of energy and vibrance around the brand.

      • Trued: I’m more optimistic about Saab’s future than I’ve been since early 2011. It’s possible that great things will happen for Saab if things fall into place. Yes, that’s a big if—-but it represents a real chance for a revived Saab. Two years ago, it was clear to many of us that there would be no revival we could get behind. This time, it can be very different if the right company steps up to take a shot at it. We didn’t have the right company last time.

      • Trued,

        I am affiliated with a dealership here in the USA that has ‘stayed’ with this through and through. We have even honoured warranty claims to this day for customers that purchased vehicles from our dealership AT OUR OWN COST! Why? Because we have and we do BELIEVE in the brand and its ongoing viability. Of course, we have had doubts. Of course we HOPE that the brand will survive. For over 2.5 years we have sold preowned cars (as we are a ‘stand-alone’ Saab dealership with no other brands to support us). We all want Saab to succeed. We all want Saab to prosper.

        I mean no disrespect to ANY SaabsUnited owners or fans. I have trusted SaabsUnited as a news source for years. However, when it comes to “news”, I simply want the news, GOOD OR BAD. And while I appreciate opinions, I signed in to the website today after almost a year of silence…. to voice a concern about the tone being set by one of the bloggers and owners of this site. With the owner in particular, I am hopeful that he was more emotional than correct in what he said about the past/future of Saab.

        • You’re a business guy, how many years can you keep going with no new Saabs coming out?

          I am not being emotional, for the first time in a long time I’m looking at this thing from a very realistic point of view. Having testdriven almost every other brand out there I have realized how far behind Saab was and how far behind Saab has become. I have talked to numerous people at NEVS and I know itimitly how difficult it has been for them to get where they are.

          I’m not kidding when I say that very few actually wanted to work with them, it took a lot of time and money trying to convince others, whats it gonna take this time when its failed once again?

          • Surely it’s possible to catch up to the competition if a new owner has the resources to build modern cars.
            If you’re bringing a new car into the market, you have to either start from scratch, or pick up where someone else left off, and SAAB was at least over the starting line. Surely if a “substantial” owner stepped in, suppliers would be happy to deal with them. After all, that’s what they’re in business for.

            • Many suppliers went bankrupt because they believed in Saab, most who were left found new companies to work for, its not like there is an abundance of parts suppliers out there… 🙁

              • Sorry Tim, I don’t get this. If a large company makes, for example, seats for various car manufacturers, let’s say, Fiat, Nissan, VW etc., and they’re approached by the new owners of SAAB, who want them to make seats to their specs, why wouldn’t they do that? It’s more work for them. The same would apply to other component manufacturers. Every car maker must have hundreds of suppliers looking to supply them. I know of a company here that made seat for Ford, and they were always stressing out about other suppliers moving in and taking their place. Their whole business depended on it. But, if Ford went broke, they’d be hanging out to find another manufacturer, and they’d have to fight for their business. There might be a shortage of suppliers locally (in Sweden), but in the world, no shortage at all. I’m convinced that if a strong enough company took the reins at SAAB, they’d have suppliers beating down their doors.

                • Today most suppliers are bound by exclusivity agreements with one manufacturer and they are not allowed to use the knowledge gained from that cooperation to work with another, we’ve heard that GM for example told its suppliers not to work with NEVS if they wanted to do business with GM, I would not be surprised if many others did the same, nobody wants more competition! Many suppliers have formed allianses in order to survive so they are acting like major groups trying to win big deals with the manufacturers but also to reduce the buy-in price of materials with big-volume orders. Any new kid on the block will have to settle for independant suppliers who most often have less experience, variation in quality, much higher component prices because of lower volumes and less capacity.

                  • Well, those sorts of GM stand over tactics might have worked in the old Western world, but the Indians and the Chinese will do whatever they have to do to sell their products. If they decide to build a new brand of car, I’m sure they’ll find suppliers. So let’s hope for a change that I’m right and you’re wrong.
                    It sounds to me like you’re moving across to BMW Tim, so I suppose it won’t matter much to you in the end. But, if SAAB do make it through this, you can say that you played a big part in that, and I for one appreciated your tenacity. I was disappointed to find that you’d been sort of hoodwinked in the end.

                    • Yes and in some places, there are heavily enforced anti-trust laws that would erase some of what Tim is referring to. What is Tesla doing to start from zero and have cars to sell?

                    • Also, if we’re talking Mahindra—-they already have suppliers who make seats and other parts. They could work with many of the same suppliers to make Saab parts with different specs.

                    • I appreciate good engineering, that goes for Lexus, BMW and Mercedes but also many other brands. I intend to follow Saab for as long as their breathing and I truly hope they make it. But I also realize the fact that if NEVS a bit behind in 2012, they are very behind in 2014 and that gap is growing each day. I sure hope Mahindra and Dongfeng are better at what they do than any previous owners!! It would be nice to buy a new Saab, made in Trollhättan in fice years. Until then, I’ll keep my 2010 9-5 and enjoy it a lot 🙂

                    • Speaking of engineering—-I’m wondering if GM, having recalled 20 million cars in 2014 (and we’re not even halfway through the year yet) would like to have a couple Saab engineers back to show them how to engineer an ignition switch?

                  • That is true Tim,,, proprietary information and capacity issues come into play… Quality control etc.. If everything is sourced to far from assembly, cost can also get higher.. It depends on the products needed..if its injection molding, glass, etc. with the latest collapse I can completely understand what your saying in local markets… At the very least Nevs is finished… It has to be a highly credited player or car maker to have any chance to get suppliers in.

                  • That means they have to do it the same thing as Scania… This coin definitively has two sides, and GM is likely to lose out eventually.

                • Could you imagine the chaos at dealerships? I don’t even know how many of these dealers are doing the recalls—-in the thousands I’m sure. But 20 million vehicles? How do they accomplish that?

  26. I hope for the best, regardless who the suitors may be. That was not the point of my post. You seem to thrive on your own ‘intellectual dialogue” and the subsequest responses. I do not enjoy visiting this site to see ‘Angelo’s” ongoing posts. I enjoy reading posts from like-minded Saab enthusiasts that say little and do much.

  27. This seems good, two companies with resources and ambitions want’s to join Saab. And both of them already has connections with good relations to Saab. Mahindra has their collaboration with Saab AB within Aerospace and Defense since a couple of years (which may be a good thing for the use of the Saab brand name).

    Dongfeng owns T-engineering in Trollhättan which consist of former Saab people and their cars are alredy being tested at NEVS/Saabs laboratories.

    The Dong Feng Truck company which is the largest in China, is partly owned by Vlovov so this could be an interesting mix.

    Both of them are large companies, with about 180 000 employees and high ambitions in the automotive field, so I think we will have some interesting more news to look forward to.

    • It will be good eventually. The new company will get automotive industry driven management and draw the roadmap. Pick up the old saying ” Find Your own Roads”

    • I agree. To me, the last week or two hasn’t been a disappointment—-it’s been an opportunity for Saab. Disappointment occurs when you expected something good and didn’t get it. I never expected this to take off. I guess I was wrong about one thing: I suggested that NEVS would never even build a car before having the operation shut down. I guess I should have qualified that by saying “an EV.” I knew the EVs for China idea was a non-starter. They did get around to building a few dozen 9-3s. There’s that I guess.

  28. Saab should continue with its 9-3 release ASAP, but of course make sure it can at least compete with cars like the Passat or even the A4. BMW and Mercs are too far away for us to catch now, but definitely achievable. And start getting proper engines into the 9-3, we have to sell base on paper specs, we need to get people looking at our specs before convincing them with the real drive.

    Forget the 9-5 and work on a A1/A-class or even Megane RS competitor. Just a hot hatch that will excite teenagers. 1.6L 200BHP, XWD option.

    And its not true that most enthusiasts are unwilling to buy a new Saab. We have been waiting, but there is no new Saab last year, so we had to get a 2nd hand 2010 9-3 Aero XWD, which is an absolute joy thus far. In fact we are looking to get a second Saab, too bad there are no new ones now. So we are looking at pre owned Saabs for now.

    • Metalhead, having small hot hatches on the menue is a luxury that BIG manufacturers can have/afford for a unique group of customer with limited financial strenght. I am sorry to say that You and others who wants Saab to go budget and small car will be very disappointed. Without revealing any strategic information I just say look at the business plan that Ratan Tata at TATA Motors of India has pulled through with Jaguar and LandRover/RangeRover. Small manufacturers has to be “Up-there”, in the luxury segments. Nuff said! Did I say LUXURY????

      • You are mighty right Jörgen!

        Its simple math that most people should understand, 700 million Euros per car in development costs, car needs to break even after four years of its five year liffespan, thats roughly 200 million euro in per year (to also cover yearmodel changes) which at a price of 50’000 Euro per car and a profit margin of about 30% ($15000) creates a volume of about 14000 cars per type, four models and sales of max 60’000 cars per year in the first five years. This is roughly what Jaguar went through, its taken the Jaguar/Land Rover brands 10 years to break 400k sold cars per year. But if Saab only sell 20’000 cars the first year, then they need to compensate in the following years… and so on… 60’000 cars per year is twice the number that Saab sold in 2010 with an existing sales network!

      • But you do realize that Jaguar and Land Rover had no history of small hatchbacks or inexpensive cars, right? And that luxury car buyers considered Jaguar in the same class as Mercedes, right? And that nobody considers Saab in that category.

        • Angelo V. Jaguar made compact executive cars before the TATA era. The X-Type and S-Type. I start to agree with Tim in regards to your postings, we can not exclusively serve Your ideas every other minute. You have made Your statements now, and we know Your position pretty well now. Thanks for Your efforts talking about Saab, but we have to let others come to speak as well. Thank You!

          • I remember the Ford era “entry level Jag.” That was not quite the VW Golf fighter I was pushing for—-but I do get your point and I admit to forgetting that forgettable little sedan. That reminded me more of the Cadillac Catera (i.e. a small wannabe luxury sedan). In that regard, I was wrong about Jag not going “cheap.” But I do see makers like BMW and Mercedes moving downmarket successfully, selling cars that are below the price point people expect. I think it comes down to image—-and my real point in crying out for the small, less expensive Saab hatchback is that I don’t think Saab has the image to play in the luxury car league the way others think they can. I think they need to find new competition. I don’t see any shame in that. If you’re a soccer club in a league and you keep losing year after year—-you don’t have the money to improve no matter what you do—-maybe trying a league a notch or two down in talent might give you a better chance.

            • I think what you are seeing with Audi, BMW and Mercedes are “loss leaders.” Cars that may bring no to little profit, unless options are selected, in an effort to bring in future buyers of their more expensive offerings. They are all hoping once a “—————” owner, always a “————-” owner, regardless of income level.

            • Just a couple of days ago, I saw an articles on “big loss making models”. The X-Type was among the cars presented, with a loss of iirc 1.7 billion (milliard) Euro.

    • A small hot hatch is appealing, but as others have pointed out probably not realistic. Volvo has dropped the C30.

  29. Two different comments:
    1. I always find Angelo’s comments interesting, usually spot on, sometimes way off in my opinion, but well reasoned and certainly the give and take with Tim (except when Tim gets exasperated) brings out ideas that may not have surfaced on their own.
    2. Now that SvD has broken the story, what is the need for the SU crew to keep a lid on what they know about NEVS? We look to them to bring us news, but as they’ve stated they feel an obligation to protect their sources. But their sources certainly haven’t been loyal to them. Their sources haven’t been straight up with the outside world. Why be a reporter if you don’t dig up what’s behind the scenes? What is the Phoenix platform? What’s it real status? What’s going on with the facelift? What are the specs of the EV cars that they are testing? What is the status of the negotiations? What is likely to be the result of the negotiations in terms of ownership and control? What are the prospective new owners planning for Saab? Obviously, the answer to some of these questions might require some speculation, but as reporters with a certain amount of inside knowledge, I should think there is a lot that can be reported on and inferred.

    • We’re not reporters, we’re fans running a blog,… And we’re not gonna burn our bridges just yet, but if this thing ends up in the trash and there is no chance for a restart, then I dont see a problem with us letting go of what we know, as long as it doesnt hurt anyone. our sources were not the ones who talked to SvD.

  30. unsure if luxury is the way to go but I have a delivery docket for 9000 Carlsson delivered in Sydney in 1991, total cost just north of $75,000.00 …

    • I doubt it Angelo! He’s being extradited to Lithuania to face a LOT of charges…. If convicted I doubt we’ll see much of him over the coming years!

      For what it’s worth, I’m in your corner with the small, affordable, sporty hatch. I just tested a new 2014 Mazda3 Sport hatch, which is an amazing car! Beautiful shape, clever engineering, drives very well with a real sporty edge. Just the type of car SAAB should be aiming at. If SAAB already had a rival to the all-new Mazda3, I’d buy it – period.

      • We do not know that yet. He and his family resides in London for some years now. When I did business with him some four years ago he was definitely a passionate Saab enthusiast. His first own car was a 9000 AERO in dark blue. I later sold him a similar car again since the first one was long gone. I wonder where that car is today? I sent it on the ferry to Riga.

        • The court in Westminster ordered the extradition back in january this year. He probably appealed, but I’m certain the extradition will happen. Too much money was stolen for Lithuania to let it drop.

      • After the Lithuanian courts and banks finish with him I doubt he will have many assets left… unless he’s found innocent of the charges of course!

    • Bäver, I am a few years older then Tim and might have seen a little bit more of the political games within the government. Swedes like to believe that we are raw models for the rest of the world, at times Yes but at times “corrupted” but we do not call it that, when friends and family tend to get positions not on qualifications but on ancestry. Same could be said about NEVS leadership that used to reside in the office of the Conservative party lobbyist think tank “Springtime” and its subsidiary “Six year plan…”. Some of the NEVS leadership was picked within this constellation of companies.
      – So the answer for You to chew on, Mr. Bäver in the deep Oregon Forest is, YES!

  31. Sorry if this is a re-post. 289 comments (so far) is a lot to sift through. Barefeet. Uphill. In the snow 😉

    http://www.autoblog.com/2014/06/17/mahindra-buying-nevs-saab-stake/

    Mahindra eying stake in Saab owner NEVS?

    By Chris BruceRSS feed
    Posted Jun 17th 2014 4:01PM

    It’s ironic that Saab’s current vehicle architecture is called the Phoenix platform, because like the mythological bird, the company keeps returning from the ashes. That’s right, the embattled Swedish automaker isn’t completely dead yet. Again. Actually, it may be facing yet another buyout, and this time, the buyer may be from India.

    Less than a month ago, the situation looked ominous for Saab. National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the carmaker’s current owner, temporarily shut down 9-3 production at its Trollhättan factory not long after restarting it in the first place. According to Just Auto, it laid off about 100 consultants allegedly linked to problems making June payroll, as well. At the time, Saab claimed that the measures were temporary, and it was negotiating selling part ownership to another automaker.

    Those assertions might have some truth behind them, it seems. Indian newspaper The Economic Times reports that Mahindra & Mahindra and an unnamed Asian automaker are negotiating with NEVS to purchase part of the company. It claims that the Indian automaker sees Saab as an opportunity to add a premium brand to its business.

    Based on the past, the rumor certainly has an air of likelihood around it. Mahindra was rumored to be one of the bidders to buy Saab outright when it was previously for sale. Even after the purchase by NEVS, the Indian company was still mooted to be trying to develop cars with them. Clearly, it has had an interest in owning the Swedish carmaker for some time, but for the moment, it has refused to comment on the possibility of the deal to The Economic Times and Just Auto.

  32. This one could easily hit 400+ Great we have international interest for Saab, that is good. Just let the negotiations come to a bright new future for SAAB.

  33. This would be the best news EVER for british SAAB loves!!!
    Why you ask, well indians drive on the LEFT, that means if Mahindra get involved we will have left hand dive Saabs in the future.
    I love my Saab v6 and would also look at an electric, all the big players are now introducing EV’s and Saab need to quicken up the pace if they don’t want to be seen as a follower rather than a leader.

  34. I suspect this will turn out well. I am also having a funding issue. At first I ordered and paid for a New York State license plate that read “KSEGG”. Then I paid for “SPYKER1”. Now I have “NEVSSAAB.” If I have to pay for another plate that says “MIHANDRA” like NEVS I too will soon be out of funds! Regardless, this journey with SAABSUNITED and all of its members has and continues to be for me a tremendous privilege.

  35. Pardon me, Jasper, but in order not to lose money, check the spelling… Well, I was actually going to bring up something else related to this discussion: the electric drive. One wonders what will happen with the whole Chinese project if Mahindra comes in. First, of course, the ownership (is KJJ going to stay in?), but also this allegedly “ground-breaking” system. Is it something that could attract Mahindra et al? What is it worth now that Tesla is letting anyone use their patents? Mahindra already has Electric drive systems (although in much smaller cars), what is this going to mean for better or worse? I Think it is a little worrying that NEVS hasn´t shown its cards here.

    • Well there are limits to how many spaces are allowed on a license plate, so sometimes misspellings are the order of the day. Regarding your intriguing question about the electric drive system, for NEVS, it’s probably for worse more than for better that Musk is spreading his technology around. I don’t believe there was any groundbreaking battery or drive technology being held close to the vest at NEVS. I’m not saying there definitely wasn’t—-I’m only saying I don’t believe it. It’s ironic that so many times, we talked about how NEVS wasn’t talking and some of us concluded that it was a good thing—-that they were quiet and going about important business and breakthrough technological advances in EV development. We bashed Victor for talking to much and not delivering and we gave NEVS the benefit of the doubt. In fact, the little quiet talking they actually did do didn’t pan out in a single good deed for Saabists, save for a few cars registered in Europe—-crude appendages on the dashboard and all. And they were not much more than resumption of the 9-3 that has been around through two other owners. That was their accomplishment—-a couple dozen 9-3s produced. KJJ to stay on? I won’t even pretend to have an answer for that, but my opinion is that if he stays on, I sure hope it’s in the background as a supplier or board member or something—-and not making day to day decisions about Saab cars. And honestly, I can’t see why a company with the chops to invest heavily would want him to be in control. If a company has so much to invest, they should demand a purchase, not “help” and they should get in the cockpit and make something happen—-not have another couple years like the last two.

      • My take they don’t have anything that is ground breaking…In fact my instincts tells me, whatever they did or I should say didn’t accomplished compromised the cash infusion from the Chinese.

        Again just speculation,,, Everything will come out in the wash in due time. KJJ is on his back,, Will he have anything in the end,,, maybe some stock,, If he can break even with some stock he should count his blessings..

        • Oh, I don’t think his personal wealth is in that poor condition Doug. I’m thinking it was set up for him to win if Saab won and win if Saab lost. Nobody here can reasonably endorse my opinion or dispute it, unless they’ve audited him and his family and have privy to his personal fiancés. What’s being said and reality might be two vastly different things. “Saab” being out of money doesn’t mean he didn’t absorb a few bucks.

          • Angelo I was referring to Nevs / him company indebtedness, not personal…I am sure he isn’t broke however i am pretty certain he has a substantial chuck of personal investment in Nevs. Plus others.. My point is whatever the corporate debt is, they Nevs/KJJ will be fortunate to recover it (break even) from Mahindra or whoever with some stock with Zero say or real interest in the Buyout. Nevs more than likely will be history.

            • Agreed, except I wouldn’t overstate what he personally tied up in NEVS. Sometimes there’s more talk about founders financing their company that real action. Often, they want it portrayed that they are shoveling their own savings into the venture because they believe in it so strongly. That’s what I meant by saying that unless he or his family was audited, we really don’t know. They could talk all they want about personal blood, sweat and tears going into a corporation, but they always seem to land on their feet personally and somehow in the same mansion with the same private jet rides. Wouldn’t surprise me Doug if after the failure of NEVS, his personal bankroll is much fatter.

  36. Perfect stuff to feed exchanges of options on this forum. But again not the news I was hoping for: SAAB as part of the BMW-group and new models in the showrooms fast.

  37. Is there already white smoke about the negotiations with the two candidates ? Or is there a timeframe they have to keep hold on? I mean , now there are no incomes for nevs , but they do have bills to pay. How long can they keep afloat ?

    • No income maybe, but a world full of sucker money if they can identify the right sucker. It truly pains me to root for an ending to Saab, even in its current form. However, it’s my opinion that NEVS finding some investments to live another day—-another year—-merely delays the inevitable collapse. My preference is to see them cash starved now with some hope that someone else will pick up the pieces and start with a clean sheet of paper that is a radically different business plan than NEVS had. I still remember the first I read about this, I believe late Winter or early Spring, 2012 —–the story being broken that the group who would own Saab was this new consortium, NEVS. I was sitting right in this room, right at this computer when I logged onto SU and read that. I remember the sick feeling I had, knowing it wouldn’t work. How long can they keep afloat Xelav? I don’t know. Doug has speculated that the deals will get better for anyone trying to buy in if these investors wait a little longer—-wait until there’s some more desperation on NEVS part. Not sure if that’s true or not, but it makes sense to me.

    • I’m very interested if they can pay the wages at the end of the month, in 2011 it was argued that the wages could not be paid since not all invoices were paid. Costs has to be paid in the order in which they arrive, none can be skipped nor can a company choose which ones to pay and which ones not, those are the basic rules of enterprise.

      • The law is different in the U.S. Employees have to be paid on pay day or the business can suffer irreparable damages through penalties. Suppliers on the other hand, can be stiffed and they are on their own as far as going after the deadbeat company who stiffed them. Department of Labor will step in to help employees who were stiffed—-but a creditor/vendor has to go after the deadbeat on their own.

      • again in the us, costs do not have to be paid as they arrive, Often, the terms with different suppliers are different and allow for different payment times. Even then, a business tight on money might pay those suppliers who for whatever reason are most important to be paid first. In the event of a bankruptcy, however, the bankruptcy trustees are required to claw back all payments made in a stated period (depending on state law, but perhaps 60 days) before the bankruptcy and then pay everyone equitably out of the bankruptcy. This prevents a business that knows they may be going bankrupt paying some favored accounts over others. I;ve been on the other end and it’s not fun to receive a letter from a law firm months or a year after a bankruptcy and being told that you need to return a substantial payment.

  38. For all we know, the deal has been struck and they’re just working out what must be a bunch of little details. Sure, if there’s a sticking point, the buyer (and buyer is what we assume) can play hard ball. I’m familiar with New York City commercial leasing negotiations where it may take a week or so to shape the deal; what’s the square foot rental, term, how much the landlord is going to contribute to the build out, etc. Essentially, Memorandum of Understanding. Then there’s weeks of papers going back and forth between lawyers regarding the fine points, sometimes days to iron out one sentence. But the point is, the parties have agreed to the deal, and it is rare that one of them says that they will walk until the deal gets cheaper, or you’ll have to pay more, or whatever.

    • Hugh: But at least in the U.S., if the deals are “all but done” and it’s the details you’re talking about that are being worked out—-the deal is announced. They announce Airline mergers and commercial real estate acquisitions months before things are finalized. It’s possible that the deal has been struck and they’re addressing the fine print—-but it’s also possible they’ve only talked so far and come close to a deal but haven’t made one. I guess we’ll know in time—-like everything else with Saab. “Be patient, be calm” has been spoken more about Saab than about any other business venture I’ve heard of. It’s incredible. Usually, we’re told that “patience pays off.” Not so, the last couple years. We kept calm and carried on and were rewarded with a few dozen 9-3 sedans in black and silver. Many of us had no chance to buy one where we lived, even if we wanted to. Ain’t it amazing?

      • There is a major complication here, called Qingbo. Their 22% of Nevs is likely to complicate things, that most likely must be sorted before ownership is changed.

        • I think those 22% will be rendered invalid since the did not honor the contract which is the basis for them getting those shares in the first place

          • Eventually, yes. However, they are currently registered as 22% owners in public records, and i think fixing that might be tricky if Qingbo doesn’t cooperate.

            • In swedish law you can render a number of shares with an owner worthless if you can prove that the owner of those shares has not performed upon agreements or paid for those shares

              • If NEVS tried that, you can pretty much bet that Quindao (or for that matter, any shareholder faced with that situation) would respond with some form of counter suit, claiming that NEVS had not performed, or misrepresented something in the shareholders agreement.

                Then it would get legally very messy, for years. Time isnt on their side..

                shareholder disputes generally, are not easily solvable.

                  • At least to me, the wording of the end of the last sentence of the Nevs May 20 SWEDISH status update seems to indicate they want to do it the other way around. I.e. the reason for the production stoppage and reduction of hired consultants: “This is both to lower the costs and that the investment in the new platform and its products is done together with Nevs new partner companies.”

                    Now, how things turn out in reality may be quite a different thing.

    • Guys, you have to remember Nevs can’t approve this deal…. Saab AB must be involved… Unless Mahindra is only interested in the assets that would be different… If however, our speculation is correct, Mahindras main interest is exploiting and capitalizing on the Saab brand to expand their reach globally then Saab AB must be involved.

      Here is why

      Mahindra’s willingness to live by the same manufacturing restrictions Nevs agreed to for name use ( I Doubt Mahindra will agree to same restrictions}.. Whatever that is;

      Cost to licensee for said name.

      I believe Mahindra will want to own the mane for a price. If they build the brand and spend Billions the last thing they will want is a license agreement,,, Could you imagine building the brand and for some reason lose the name for a breach etc?.. Secondly you can’t sell a license as an asset if you don’t own it… Mahindra 5 or 10 years down the road could not sell the Saab division.

      There must be a name buy out in the Deal… Basically Saab AB will need to decide if they will or want that.

      How much for a buyout to (Nevs) is a huge issue, and price for name.(Saab AB).. Like I said before if Nevs or Saab AB squeeze or think they can play Mahindras hand they will get lemon juice.

      Think about it this way is the Saab name and Nevs assets worth more or less today or worth more two years ago??.

      Considering the challenge Mahindra will have and the latest stoppage and more than likely little development that Nevs conducted that really may not matter.. I would say NO.

      Mahindra will want this deal for a song because there may not be another major (car maker) stepping up.

      Buy the way why does SAAB AB need to play ball at this point?..what do they have to gain? . Unless they can get a huge amount for the Name, not likely. Why would they need to play ball?

      • Doug: Why would Saab AB have played two years ago? If anything, that indicates their willingness to allow the name on cars, without being too picky. After all, the group who got use of the name had no portfolio at all—–nothing but hot air and dreams. Yet they got the name. And I also think Mahindra would accept a license agreement if it were drafted in a way that gives them some reasonable protections. But there’s a lot more at stake for Mahindra than simply owning the Saab name forever. Indian businesses who have been branching out globally seem to share one virtue—-that is, patience (and a very long term view). That culture has been around far longer than ours in America. They view things over centuries, not months, like some Americans are guilty of. Why do I bring that up? I feel that Mahindra can benefit greatly from having Saab—-and as we’ve discussed before, it’s not just the naming rights to some cars. They can use the synergy if they own Saab to bolster their own product line. Saab’s decades of innovation, reputation for safety, etc.—-can migrate to Mahindra cars and trucks. Also, depending on how Mahindra approaches the marketing—-who knows, as they offer Saab cars in regions who have populations already familiar with Saab, but not so much with Mahindra—-the advertising can start with a small Mahindra emblem as the corporate marque at the bottom of the page or on a television ad, the bottom of the screen. Over time, the Mahindra association can grow, eventually being “Saab, a division of Mahindra.” That can work wonders for Mahindra in establishing themselves—-their OWN name brand. Doug, they’ll never want to lose the Saab name if they are successful in bringing it back from the dead, where it’s been killed. But if they hold it long enough to establish themselves—-if the worst happens and for some reason, Saab AB screws them—-they will have made their own brand familiar and can possibly just go on that way. And again, I don’t think that would happen to them—-I think as long as things are going well and they’re owning up to their own part of the licensing agreement, Saab AB will play ball.

        • Is this abound Mahindra brand or Saab??? I don’t agree but we can agree to diagree.
          one spread out

          Mahindra isn’t buying any past technology Angelo,,, Its gone spread around BAIC has quite a bit… But to me the biggest thing here can Mahindra gain market share under The Saab name?

          • There is more than the name involved in this. There’s a factory with relatively modern (and I’ll add expensive) equipment and capacity to build cars. Along with the factory and its location, there is labor that has experience building luxury cars and know-how (expensive, but it’s part of “you get what you pay for). There’s a platform too—-that from what we’ve heard, is flexible versatile. Tim would probably have a more specific way of saying it—-but I’ll say that “a lot” has been invested in that platform and if it’s brought along quickly enough, it’s still plenty viable. When I say they’re buying “technology” that transcends what I think you’re imagining. It’s more turn key if you buy a company that includes a factory in an area with experienced labor, machines, engineers, a platform—-I’m assuming EV development in process—-this is quite a bit Doug, that goes well beyond naming rights. And one other thing—-it’s not about the Mahindra brand OR the Saab brand—-it’s about BOTH. One lends instant credibility to the other and a whole lot more, perhaps for a very cheap ticket in. Doug—-the problems with ignitions on the GM recalls is largely dominated by one or two models—–Chevy Cobalt and HHR. Most of this resides within the Chevy brand. The Chevy brand is owned by General Motors. When we talk about damage to a brand—-the parent company, GM, is taking the brunt of it. It’s now being reported, almost daily, as “GM recalls.” Not Cobalt recalls and not Chevy recalls. When it was reported this week that the Camaro was being added to the growing list, the headline was “More recalls at GM” or “Another recall at GM.” The parent company is a brand too. If Saab becomes a part of Mahindra—–all things good and bad about Saab can also translate to good and bad about Mahindra, depending on how the company plays it.

            • I think it would be the SAAB name that’s going to be at the forefront in people’s minds, so it would probably be different. Everyone knows GM, but not many know Cobalt, at least outside the U.S. Likewise, everybody knows the SAAB name, but not everyone has heard of Mahindra.

            • My point Angelo is 1) Its an.assumption the Phoenix is the next best thing. 2), The assets of said plant mean very little to Mahindra unless they want the name.. Its not like” hey lets go buy that plant” Remember extremely high labor cost in Sweden.

              I believe the Management said openly to the workers you may want to look for new work…

              Who is there with experience etc for future production remains to be seen. Again to me this more about a few things,

              Name usage
              Is the Phoenix worth it, how far along it is etc.

              Also the bottom line HOW MUCH.

              ..

              • Well, yes, “how much?” will be the driving issue. When a company is on its back, people willing to buy in are looking for a deal. Crows picking at the carcass of a dead squirrel on the side of the road are getting it for free just for showing up. NEVS has to make a case that they’re worth more than a rotting squirrel. If they truly don’t have a lot of debt, I can see why there’s interest being shown. Saab, even in its current state, is still worth SOMETHING. As long as NEVS doesn’t get carried away with overstating the value—-I think a deal can be struck.

  39. And…if the brand we’ve identified with becomes so diluted and adulterated, what are we cheering for? A mere nameplate?

    • Joe: I’ve been a Pittsburgh Pirates fan for about 44 years. There’s nothing even remotely similar to the Pirates of 2014 vs. the Pirates of 1970. Different owner, different players, different front office, different stadium, different management…different uniforms even. The name is the same. So yes, if the brand changes, we’d be cheering for the nameplate. I submit that the brand changing is necessary for its survival. So if Saab loses a lot of support from its base, that’s fine. They’re trying to survive. If their idea turns over today’s Saab fans into tomorrows—-and the new fans are totally different—-at least there will still be a Saab to cheer for. And some of us will be going along for the ride. I plan to be there.

      • From a Pirates fan for 56+ years, I agree. I’m just hoping that the new Saab will have a soul similar to the pre-1990 Saab. That’s the one thing I want to stay the same. Actually I think Saab had the same fighting spirit right up through the Spyker days. It was GM that held it in check.

        • Wow, so you’re on your third stadium Saabyurk? I think they had just started playing at Three Rivers Stadium when I began following them as a little kid.

          • Yes, 3rd stadium, but to me the Pirates will always be Forbes Field with Clemente rifling throws in from right field. I spent a year at Carnegie Tech in 1961. Walking around downtown, you could hear the game from someone’s radio on almost every street corner. Ask anyone “What’s the score?” and they would know. Times change.

            • Funny because as an 8 year old fan, I remember Clemente rifling throws in from right field during the ’71 World Series (Oriole killer throws), a decade after you were at Carnegie. You’ve got to love watching players who love to play—-Roberto’s joy of playing the game was contagious.

                • Bob Prince, fantastic. Even though I wasa Buccos fan, I grew up in Phillies country and Harry Kalas was also a terrific announcer. Off topic, but what happened to Steve Blass? I mean, I know what he’s doing now—-but why did he lose the ability to throw strikes—-presumably in the prime of his career?

                  • I guess Steve Blass is still a mystery, remember it well. Just Googled and found they call it the “Steve Blass Disease” when it happens to others, but still a mystery.
                    Sure wish there was good Saab news to discuss but it’s likely to be mid-July, if ever.

                    • I remember reading the baseball book “Five Seasons” (Sequel to “The Summer Game?). I think there was a chapter about Blass. That book was from the ’70s, so it wasn’t long after this happened. At the time, there were no other comparable cases—it was perhaps the first time anything like this had happened. Very weird.

      • Ok, Angelo, I get the analogy. I fully understand and appreciate the necessary evolutionary journey of the technological and business advancements of an automobile company.
        Keeping your analogy in mind, if the Phillies bought the Pirates franchise, interchanged players and management, kept the Pirates uniform, but ran the team like the Phillies…how would you feel about your beloved team?
        As saabyurk mentions it’s important the soul and DNA are somewhat intact and identifiable both for the “base” and as a brand differentiator in the “open market”.

        If not, then a $2.00 decal, and a cheap ignition switch between the seats will be all we have to look forward to. I’d like to think I’m a better informed consumer than that….sorry.

  40. Oh Angelo one more thing how much is the Brand name worth outright?

    How much as as a License?? Is it paid per car or annually etc. Referring to royalty.

  41. A little cause for optimism for June wages from Just-Auto”

    “I asked them [NEVS] – can you pay salaries in June?” FKG managing director, Fredrik Sidahl, told just-auto from Sweden.
    “The answer was reptile quick – yes no problem.”

  42. Investors – ‘Buying into Saab’ is not about facilities, brand name or platform technology (alone). It is about strategic positioning, technology transfer, membership into a premium technology hub of consultants and suppliers that will and can develop premium products for you.
    Why is everyone talking about Saab needing this many models etc. when ‘developing Saab’ will always being about the synergy of sister car brands. E.g Skoda would be nothing without Volkswagen and same go for Audi. Just look back 25 years and these brands had some serious problems.

    So, Mahindra just got Ssangyong (will get a new name shortly) what if buying Saab I just the beginning of assembling a new auto group….
    Splitting development costs with Saab might make a business case viable even if Saab would not make a profit by itself for maybe 2 generations of cars.

    If Saab made a new version of the 900 I wouldn’t think twice before buying it. Because I believe this type of car has the same iconic potential as the Mini Cooper, that can appeal to a larger audience. Eg.
    – Minicooper sold + 300 000 cars 2013 ( with very limited nr of models)
    – Tesla sold + 35 000 cars 2013
    – Jaguar Landrover + 425 000 cars 2013

    Make a really good Saab, with a break even price, invest in brand building, wait a few years and I think this can work.

    Mahindra might use the leverage of owning Saab to buy other brands to fit into the portfolio, or seek other intelligent partnerships. Lets not make conclusive observations by only knowing a fragment what the future might offer, and what strategic role Saab might play.

    Mahindra might not be Tata, and Saab is not Jaguar, nor Geely and Volvo. But looking at these collaborations these brands have got an enormous boost non the less. In a world where identity becomes more important, where the story of origin is key to marketing, I think Qoros might get a tough up hill battle, while Volvo, Jaguar, Saab and Tesla will have something to base their story on, and also be able to communicate the roadmap of where the brand will be going. Being the other Scandinavian automotive premium brand might not be so bad. Maybe the Volvo evolution going on right now can raise the brand value for Saab as well.

  43. At the darkest hour of the nite, the morning is closer than one might expect.

    Saab might not have new models as in the spyker era, a heavy staff of past years, or even a huge following and customer base, but it has a unique and historical sense of freedom to define its own destiny. Its essentially ‘free’ from Swedish government Ministers, General Motors and Bankruptcy Lawers, to freely choose who ever it wants or needs to be its investor, this is dramatically different than previous turn of events? I choose not to mention NEVS, as I think Saab has an almost mythical power to survive, despite former masters changing nature. Maybe NEVS will be following Saab for many years, or maybe it will seek an exit. What is best for Saab right now, will define who will own, and partner with it. The best ownership structure will naturally save Saab, as Saab will be the perfect tool in their hands for their own survival in a fiercely competitive world. Just think of the aspect that Mahindra never left…

    • KIA was in financial trouble too. They got the right investment, a new product portfolio (emphasis on value and a long warranty) and they’ve taken off. Have a look at the commercials they’re airing for World Cup soccer—-they have indeed arrived—-hitting on all cylinders. Can Saab have a turnaround? Not likely to look like KIA’s, but on the other hand, there has always been untapped potential with the brand. A big, active, ambitious company with car building experience can make some really remarkable things happen. The right new owner can take Saab to some wonderful places.

      • That’s right, KIA were in very serious trouble, some billions of $, I believe. Someone told me five billion.
        As you say Angelo, with the right investor and some serious marketing, I can’t see why SAAB can’t make a huge comeback, and become as popular as the KIA brand. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
        In fact, I remember Skoda in the sixties, and people just laughed at them; saw them as a heap of junk. Now, they’re selling for $60,000+. A solid company and clever marketing can do it for SAAB too.
        I’ll be the happiest man on the planet if that happens, and I’m sure it will.

        • Kia did it from the bottom up and I think Saab should also offer a basic, reliable entry level car to get fannies in Saab seats—and build up from there. Back to basics for the foundation and then you start to introduce the head turners—-the special cars. If Saab (perhaps under Mahindra ownership) can prove themselves as a high value, affordable car—-they plant the seeds of change. Then with some dramatic higher priced models, they recapture some of the older following.

  44. I thought things might be changing, but it appears that Insanity still reigns in the world of SAAB. Not necessarily a bad thing as long as an equally insane investor with plenty of money comes along. A more rational investor may have better financial success, however that very rationality may make it difficult for them to market vehicles that will appeal to the traditional SAAB market.

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