By on June 16, 2014


NEVS, the Swedish outfit that currently produces the Saab 9-3 (or is trying to, at least), is facing a major cash crunch and may not be able to make payroll or settle accounts with suppliers. But they may have a savior in Mahindra.

Just-Auto is reporting that Mahindra is interested in NEVS, though in what capacity, we’re not sure. While Mahindra would not comment on the matters, NEVS confirmed that “…it was in discussion with two Asian OEMs.”

Although Mahindra is an established player in the automotive world, accquiring a brand like Saab would give them a way to pursue avenues that may have previously been unthinkable – for example, a premium brand, or an entry into the North American market. The last one may be a bit of wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened – like a planned entry via Ssangyong.

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18 Comments on “Mahindra Courting Saab’s Remnants? Never Say NEVS...”

  • avatar

    Little premature to make an article out of this [non-existent] info.

    Just let Saab die already.

  • avatar

    Maybe somebody could make a quick buck and sell Mahindra some cachet with long-lost names like Plymouth, Oldsmobile, DeSoto, Mercury…

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      The difference being that Saab has modern cars, technology, and a factory.

      I know it’s easy to diss Saab, but then you realize that most of GM’s current best-sellers (pickups excluded) were partly or wholly developed by Swedes. SRX XTS, Impalla, Regal, Verano. Plus the 2.0l turbo that GM is stuffing into the ATS/CTS.

      Mahindra could get a shot in the arm from Saab’s tech, just like GM did in the past. The old rumor is that GM bought into Saab because it was cheaper than developing their own electronic engine management technology. Mahindra could do the same. The Indian market is booming, and Indian buyers are no longer satisfied with colonial-era hand-me-down designs.

      • 0 avatar

        You sure about crediting all of those to Swedes?

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          The SRX was also the short-lived Saab 9-4x. The lead engineer was Swedish.

          XTS, Impala, Regal all use the same platform, first seen on the Saab 9-5/Opel Insignia.

          Verano uses GM’s proposed replacement platform for the 9-3. Of course, Saab was working on an improved platform in parallel, because the only way to get something done at GM is to hide it from senior management.

          Saab was GM’s tech center for turbocharged engines. The 2.0T is their design.

          • 0 avatar

            I saw a 9-4x few months ago. The badges fell off of it already, lol.

            I knew about the T engines, but not the rest of it.

          • 0 avatar

            Pity GM didn’t adopt the SAAB center console ignition switch.

          • 0 avatar

            So Saab which had cast iron block engines and port injection became the world center for GM’s all- aluminum direct injection ecotec turbo engine, while the Opel engine people went out on extended lunch breaks, and the US CFD guys twiddled their thumbs and let 10 guys named Sven do it all?

            The Insignia platform was designed over a weekend by a guy named Thor and a troll from northern Sweden who had one hand tied behind his back just as a sporting gesture to show how easy it was, and the latest engine in the ATS which is a complete revision of the previous design in the Solstice and XTS was a freebie from a retired Saab engineer working over three full weekends after Saab went bust under Spyker.

            There are three obvious miracles here: One, Saab genius somehow never produced a car that many people actually wanted to buy which is why everything sputtered to a halt.
            Two, since Saab apparently designed all the Generals turbo engines and half its platforms, the argument that GM mismanaged Saab is incorrect. Saab in fact mismanaged GM!

            Three, all ex-Saab engineers should be awarded honorary sainthoods, just for being SO dam’ good.

            And the legend grows … among people who haven’t a clue how industrial design and processes occur, and who just want to believe in magic.

            Hokum, I say.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle


            Saab used the aluminum 2.0 in the 9-3. The cast-iron block was used in the 9-5.

            Not sure what your point is? It’s well documented that “GM Powertrain Sweden” designed the turbo Ecotec, which is very different from the non-turbo Ecotec. Everything else I wrote about platforms (which did not include your Thor fantasy) is also well known.

            As for what went wrong at Saab, that’s open for debate. They had some of their best sales years just before the financial crisis that brought down GM. They had some very good platforms waiting in the wings, which GM is still using. 08/09 was a crazy time in the industry, especially at GM. Given the way the market has gone, they probably wish they had a premium brand in their portfolio.

      • 0 avatar

        Mahindras are actually more modern than colonial era…

  • avatar

    This sums it up:

  • avatar

    Just when I thought you guys were out of SAAB stories…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Mahindra is not as smart as they look.

  • avatar

    Whoa! Major deja vu. I thought this was from about 2-3 years ago. The lack of nasty snark is the only sign that this is a new post.

    Seriously though, I can’t believe how SAAB keeps reliving this saga. I really feel bad for the workers. It must be much worse than for the SAAB fans. For the cynics, it’s easy to pee all over SAAB. It was a fun group activity for pundits without real experience with SAABs. You should be rooting for SAAB just so you can continue to do so.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I’d take a 9-4 with the turbo 4…providing replacement parts could be found…

  • avatar

    M&M are tired of watching Tata laugh all the way to the bank with their acquisitions. They’re either going after SAAB or will take a swipe at something like PSA I wager. Whether the French will cooperate is an open question.

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