What does it cost to build a car brand? We're taking a short break from our 9000i project and delivering economic news that might have something to do with Saab.
The joint venture behind Qoros has been around since 2007, the art brand name since 2011. Actually, purely from the product, Qoros has done everything right. Only a good vehicle alone does not drive the customers in droves to the dealer.
The story behind the brand is missing; One looks in vain for a unique selling point. The sales data are disappointing; fewer than 2014 vehicles were sold in 5.000. As a consequence, a former GM manager in China is trying to get the brand on the road to success; the expansion plans were put on the back burner and a small SUV (Qoros 2) below the 3 series should bring more demand.
2014 burned Qoros 350 millions of US dollars, the losses since 2009 add up to over 900 millions. A proud investment, with little result so far.
For anyone who was late, China is a tough market. Qoros is not alone with the problems, Tesla is also feeling the effects. 2 vehicles, a lot with an annual production of a good 000 units, are stockpiled there.
Mahindra is a little smarter than the Qoros investors. Ssangyong was a bargain with some history in the background. Whether to strike at the traditional Swedish pearl Saab in Trollhättan - uncertain.
There was still the Pininfarina speculation. In March it was denied heavily, now the matter is getting substance. Mahindra will make an offer to the Pininfarina owners on April 29th, Reuters reports. Both parties are not prepared to comment upon request.
Pininfarina is heavily in debt and in the hands of the lenders. For the Indians, the Italians would be a pearl, with a reasonable price. Design, development, homologation, production - the full range is available from a single source. A network from Italy to Germany to China. In addition, as a bonus, a big, old name.
If Mahindra enters NEVS (I do not accept bets!), The restart in Trollhättan with Italy could be accelerated in the background. If not, Pininfarina could still globalize Ssangyong.
We are waiting ! Any breaking news. Any signal that signals departure and restart. So far there has only been a very loud silence, it's not just us. A reliable NEVS indicator: the trade unions. They are worried about jobs and the future. No wonder given the lack of prospects on site.
But IF Metal has nothing to report to its members either. The website complains about the silence of NEVS. After showing loyalty and having gone through crises, it would be time to talk to employees about the future and job security, they say. You're right about that.
Only, there is only loud silence. Not more. 53 days left.