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.
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.
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/