Saab automobiles, Scania, Saab AB defense branch, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), and Mahindra (M&M): Auto connect or burbak’s talk

While most Saab fans did get their breath back when National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) purchased Saab automobiles, it seems legal rights weren’t discussed in detail up front. The purchase deal does not confirm the use of the Saab name and logo. The Swedish-based electric vehicle company ownership lies with a Chinese-Japanese investment group (consortium) and while bankruptcy issues are now a closed chapter, Saab AB defense branch and Scania with their griffin logo seen in the Saab autos emblem rightfully use the brand name. As far as Saab automotive is concerned, there needs to be a discussion in quick time to ensure brand name isn’t left ignored for much longer. The root of the problem is traceable to General Motors (GM) two part purchase of the passenger car division of Saab.

While naming etiquette and usage is sorted, focus can be reverted to India’s Mahindra & Mahindra. M&M featured as a potential buyer when Saab’s bankruptcy topped auto news updates. There was also talk about splitting Saab so the money in question could be raised. While it may seem Mahindra went out of the picture, there’s always a possibility that M&M would be connected to Saab through a joint venture of sorts.

Saab going completely electric while possible draws parallels with a Burbaks dream. A write up on stated that NEVS was on the lookout for an auto partner so they could have a larger vehicle portfolio that included petrol, diesel or ethanol powered cars. Could it be that Mahindra steps in at this junction as a partner.

It is no secret that M&M has been growing rapidly in the electric vehicle segment, as well as passenger car segment, gaining a significant lead in the utility vehicle (SUV) segment. Research is on high octane, and then there’s the Ssangyong deal. This apart, two wheelers, LCV’s, Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd. (MNAL), 4-wheelers Commercial (Passenger & Load) vehicles, Mahindra GippsAero GA10 10 seater aircraft, and other ventures come to the mind. Mahindra could very well offer Saab a much needed vehicle technology boost.

Furthermore, on 29th May 2012, CEO Håkan Buskhe, Saab AB (aerospace and defence company) mentioned the company had strategical partnerships with Indian Mahindra pertaining to aerospace and defence. It is also true that Saab AB is keen on selling the Jas 39 Gripen fighter jet to India. Keeping this in mind, an association here would ensure the Saab brand name issue is sorted. Saab AB and Mahindra’s defense sector interests could settle this problem for good.

In regards to Ssangyong, hybrid drivetrains from the eAAM project that Saab was associated with implies that their experienced engineers could be hired by NEVS. National Electric Vehicle Sweden looks at the Indian auto market as one the company is interested in. In response to queries placed to Mahindra, a company spokesperson had this to say, “As a company policy we do not comment on speculative stories.”

Thanks for the tip, Gregg.