Let's remember the drama about Saab, the bidding race in Sweden. And let's remember our favorite we had as a Desired Partner for Saab. Much is still unclear today, and sometimes at least light comes from the sources where you least expect it.
Mahindra & Mahindra + Aston Martin?
For a week now, the Aston Martin rumor has been buzzing through the car world. The fact is that Kuwait-based investor Investment Dar Co. would like to sell its stake in the island's sports car maker. Investment Dar Co. is Aston Martin's main shareholder with 64% and, according to Bloomberg, is said to have hired the Rothschild Bank to find buyers. Investment Dar Co. denies itself - unofficially. An official statement is missing.
Two companies are traded as potential buyers. Toyota and Mahindra. As is common practice, several analysts have dealt with these scenarios. It is considered unlikely that Mahindra & Mahindra will pay the required amount, one speaks of 800 million US dollars. Mahindra is on a wave of success, with 10.000 orders for the new small SUV Quanto in two months, but is mainly busy with the introduction of the Ssangyong brand, acquired in 2010.
Mahindra, according to analysts such as the Mumbai-based Business Standard, is more in search of a favorable opportunity. For this reason, one had also quit the race for Saab. The price for the manufacturer from Sweden had been close to 500 million dollars. In view of the further expected investments at Saab that had been too much, and they said goodbye.
Hmm ..... $ 500 million then! If we add up the price for the factory, Saab Parts AB, Powertrain and Tools, then we are around this sum. Back then, people in Sweden said that the price for the spare parts subsidiary in Nyköping was too high for the Indians. The news from Mumbai backs this up.
Is that true, and it seems, then the sale to India has failed due to the harsh attitude of the state. He wanted the full price and was not ready for a tee. For example, Saab Parts AB will soon become a state-owned company.
Mahindra did not want to pay 500 millions of dollars, and Geely, Volvo owner, was to take over the Saab Automobile Group for a single million.
Geely successful = not Volvo
Whether Geely would have been a good owner for Saab is questionable. We will never know the answer. If Geely is a good mother for Volvo, we'll know that someday. While things are not going well for Volvo, Geely is on her way up. In October, the Chinese sold 48.609 cars. A proud plus of 35% over the previous year, which is also due to the strong export. More than every fourth car was exported.
While Geely is booming, Volvo continues to reverse in China. Sales slumped by 11.7% on 3.389 vehicles in October. Thus, the downward trend has continued to accelerate, until September, the decline compared to the previous year was still at 7.3%.
Geely has some plans for Volvo or Volvo DNA. Soon a new brand is to be founded, which Geely wants to become a kind of Chinese folk brand. The technology should come largely from Volvo and the design should clearly carry Scandinavian traits. Currently, the Geely Design Director, visiting Göteborg, is looking for employees for this project.
Car industry without cars = future
What the future of the auto industry in Sweden will look like in maybe 5 years is an exciting question. The day before yesterday there was a rather gloomy appointment on this subject in the Saab Bilmuseum. professor Bo Dahlbom from the University of Gothenburg held, as visitors told, quite ghostly lecture of his visions of the future.
His credo "we should not do anything that the Chinese can do cheaper" comes to the following conclusion. A car industry without cars will emerge in Sweden. Sweden will provide ideas as a service platform or as a “think tank”. The question to be solved is not how to drive from A to B, but what to do while driving.
Sweden thinks and China builds. That's what the professor meant. In Trollhättan, as a kind of large test laboratory, you can already examine the result of such visions. The engineers have work, that's a good thing. You develop and research for car manufacturers all over the world. But what does the rest do? On my last visit to Saab City, the unsightly results of this development could be seen.
At sunrise I was on my way from Swania, always along the canal, towards the Bilmuseum. Looking for beautiful photo motifs. You can see residents who - with too much alcohol in their blood - have not found their way home. Or empty bottles that announce a night of drinking along the way. These signs didn't exist two years ago, but who should you blame? Unemployment is high, prospects are poor.
How was that with Sweden and the Volksheim? Past. Oh Sweden, how have you changed ...