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.


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  • 20 Comments
      dbc
      • 6 Months Ago
      Saw a 2012 9-5 in Boston the other day. What a sick car, and pretty rare to spot one in the wild. If they could resurrect the wagon version that never saw the light of day, I would buy it.
        tenspeeder
        • 6 Months Ago
        @dbc
        Stick around New England and you'll see them every so often as well as the 94X which is a great looking truck. Saabs are still everywhere. here
      Elbilar Elbilson
      • 6 Months Ago
      Now there are 4 car companies that wants to work with Saab!!!! Good Luck! http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3713161#post3713161
      Billy Farmer
      • 6 Months Ago
      I hate to say it but maybe it is time to put saab to rest ! Saab was long gone by the time GM took it over and GM was just like a life support for Saab, these small auto firms are like giving a dying person vitamins and herbs and hoping for the best !
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Billy Farmer
        GM, who has needed life support itself recently, help to ruin SAAB. I know it's the common opinion that GM was life support for the quirky car maker but the end result was simply as unfortunate as SAAB was building superb cars that would not sell because the marketing strategies/departments for the GM Brands and SAAB individually were at war with each other. GM was struggling, not because of SAAB but because of GM, and this played out rather obvious in '08. GM was a dying car-maker in Detroit, and they needed to be able to market and sell GM cars if they were going to be able to ever throw SAAB a bone. That's the unfortunate truth of SAAB. Yes, SAAB was at the tit at GM but GM was on life support and barely breathing..
      Lawrence Morello
      • 6 Months Ago
      Slaab.
      Nabthat
      • 6 Months Ago
      Nabthat is Making Anonymous Cars Buying Experience in Los Angels nabthat.com
      Raza Amir Raja
      • 6 Months Ago
      The first two lines of this story are brilliant. I couldn't stop laughing! Great writing!
      • 5 Months Ago
      it was always a disappointment how SAAB used it's independence after GM gave them the boot. They held on to their last joint venture designs with GM for the last model 9-5, which was conceptually/aesthetically perfect but overpriced. This is '09, '10 when SAAB had tried to resurrect itself, which was 2 years after America's worst financial crisis in decades and at a time when lenders (who ruined this economy) weren't lending any money. SAAB, instead of trying to appeal to mass markets with a lower priced SAAB vehicle alienated the younger consumers whom this vehicle mostly appealed to. As a result, sales did not take off and the company was awash in debt. What is interesting is the marketing strategy of SAAB's competitors in Mercedes and BMW who have done exactly that. Built quality vehicles in the 30-40K range, expanding their market share considerably. What SAAB needed to do is what everyone from VW, Volvo, Mercedes and BMW have done. Make these vehicles affordable, get your foot in the consumers door and don't rely on your ex for anything. When hard times came, GM pulled the plug on sale of SAAB if it included the new 9-5 and parts manufacturers went immediately out of business, sealing the fact for SAAB's future and Trollhaten. I truly hope something of a SAAB maintains or survives, but personally I don't know how. What SAAB had to undertake once split from GM was mammoth, but they could have saved themselves. What a SAAB might be in the future, who knows, but as long as they are making parts for 2010 and earlier vehicles I am in a SAAB
      TriShield
      • 6 Months Ago
      There's nothing really left to invest in. A rapidly aging plant that is tooled to build a very aged (but still decent) car that nobody wants to buy. It's hard to see what if anything Mahindra would actually get out putting money into this venture. Even the brand name Saab doesn't belong to NEVS and if it was the name it doesn't have any cachet left in new car business.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @TriShield
        " A rapidly aging plant that is tooled to build a very aged (...) car " Absolutely not, in 2009 the plant has been tooled to be universal and versatile. GM planed to build some Cadillac and Opel cars in it. It takes quite 6 months to set the line tools for a new car.
      Reader
      • 6 Months Ago
      Another thing for mahindra to do is buy the alpha Holden platform with the factory now certain it is to be shut in 2017
      Austin Holloman
      • 6 Months Ago
      My 2009 9-3 2.0T SS has been an amazing car. I've been thinking about buying a 2012 9-5 aero now that I'm done modifying the 9-3. I'd love to see this company come back strong but I'm very doubtful.
      Cruising
      • 6 Months Ago
      If true, Mahindra should bring SAAB back to Detroit since they already setup a technical facility there.
        Reader
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Cruising
        Which country after australia of the factories now certain to shut has the most modern platform for Mahindra to purchase after Saab badge with Manhindra to buy the badge and NEVS to only own the Name in Saab aeroplane not fear misuse of the badge is could be associated with in China
      no1bondfan
      • 6 Months Ago
      Honest question here: I have never driven or even ridden in a Saab. I sat at a few at car shows, but that's the extent of my experience with them. What is it about Saab that made some people so loyal to the brand? What made them special?
        Kody Marion
        • 6 Months Ago
        @no1bondfan
        If you don't understand the loyalty. You have obviously never owned one. Saab is not for everyone. As for me I will drive my 2008 Turbo X with a sh*t eating grin until a new Saab comes ashore in north America. Whether that is 2016 or 2026.
          no1bondfan
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Kody Marion
          I've never owned one. I've never even ridden in one. I'm curious though, what is it that makes your 2008 Turbo X special? I mean, is it the power, the design, a good dealership experience?
        • 5 Months Ago
        @no1bondfan
        To give you an idea, at one time I owned 4 of them; my husband was a really big guy, and I loved my saab, he found it comfortable (as a passenger; no one drove my saab but me!), and when he needed a new car, he said that was the one he wanted. Since I had the last new hatchback, we got one with about 15k miles. He drove that car the night that he had his last stroke, he said it was the best car he ever had (after having had Cadillacs and other really big GM cars). It took us all over New England and middle states, it was the best car he had - 180k + miles without a major repair, and his idea of servicing a car was to put oil in when the oil light went on. I still have 2, a sedan and a convertible, and have no idea what kind of car I would get now if I needed one. That's why people love Saab.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @no1bondfan
        I've owned 5 to date, a '85 900S, '84 900T, '87 900T and '97 900S, '06 9-3T Wagon, and had they been in business I was likely to get one of those 2012 9-5 Aero's that looked so hot. For me personally, I have never experienced so fun a drive in a vehicle ever. The '84 and '87 Turbo's lasted forever, and my god, they were both driven out west, so fun to drive and so comfortable on long trips. My only Saab now is the '97 900S and it has 277,700 miles on it, and it still runs like a top hasn't rusted out and it's been the best car I've ever owned. I could probably get another 50K miles out it I believe. For me it's all a matter of opinion, but I've been a bit lost since they went out of business. Fun cars, unique cars, unique experience....truly nothing like them....
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