Popular budget UV maker Mahindra had previously made public, its interest in buying Swedish car manufacturer Saab in 2011 when the ailing company had declared bankruptcy. In 2012, it was announced that a newly formed company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) had bought Saab Automobile's bankrupt estate. Now, rumours are that NEVS has a signed letter of intent from an unnamed Asian automaker to take majority ownership of the brand.
In 2012 there were rumours that NEVS was trying to work with Mahindra and Mahindra to develop a petrol-powered 9-3. So could this ‘unnamed Asian automaker’ be the India-based Mahindra? M&M, maker of the utility vehicle range (Scorpio, Xylo and XUV500) and the Verito may be thinking of becoming a part-owner (with the Hong-Kong- based National Electric Vehicle or NEV, its current owner,) as the bankrupt car maker needs funds to maintain operations.
Mahindra & Mahindra has previously also shown interest in acquiring Jaguar Land Rover when Ford put it on sale in 2007 but the company did manage to book Korean SUV maker Ssangyong back in 2010.
Automotive News Europe cites a SaabsUnited story proclaiming that the suitor is none other than Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra. The Swedish automaker is reportedly just waiting for the nitty-gritty to fall into place before making the news official. NEVS also claims that it's still negotiating with a separate, unnamed Asian automaker on a joint venture to co-develop new vehicles.
Assuming the deal goes through, the new owner could regain the rights to the Saab brand, too. According to ANE, negotiations are underway with the Saab AB aerospace business to be able to use the trademark again. NEVS lost that right when it filed for reorganisation.
Analysts, however, seeing Mahindra’s interest in Saab and its previously Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover are saying that these are part of Mahindra’s efforts to boost its brand image globally. While this may be partly true, it seems great to see an Indian automaker show such ambition.