Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra could take over ailing Swedish car maker Saab. The Chinese-Japanese consortium that currently owns Saab, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has submitted a declaration to the District Court in Vänersborg, asking for a a three month extension as it re-organizes the company. The re-organization may see Mahindra taking over Saab, by buying out NEVS’ stake in the Swedish automaker.
Saab has changed multiple hands over the past couple of decades. General Motors acquired the automaker in 2000, only to sell it Spyker in 2010. Spyker in turn sold Saab to NEVS, which has put the Swedish car maker on the block yet again. While NEVS has mentioned that it is in talks with an Asian company for a sell out, the Japanese-Chinese group has not clearly indicated the name of the company. The Asian automaker could either be Mahindra or China’s Dongfeng group.
Saab may be a strategic fit for Mahindra, which is betting big on electric vehicles. NEVS has been plotting an electric future for Saab by seeking to transform the Swedish automaker into an electric car specialist. If Saab is indeed acquired by Mahindra, the company could be the second electric car maker to be taken over by the Indian automaker. Mahindra acquired Indian electric car maker Reva Electric in 2010, and has since launched the E2O electric car in India.
Mahindra has been eyeing ailing automakers for quite a while now. After a failed bid to buy Jaguar-Land Rover in 2008, Mahindra settled for South Korean SUV maker Ssangyong. While Ssangyong does not bring the same kind of revenues that Jaguar-Land Rover brings to Tata Motors, the SUV maker is a strategic fit for Mahindra, itself an utility vehicle specialist. In the coming weeks, expect more clarity on Mahindra’s supposed acquisition of Swedish car maker Saab.