Automotive News has reported another turn of the swing door in Trollhattan.
Those of you keen on re-gravedigging will have been following the death-rebirth-death-rebirth of Saab. At this point the cycle is akin to an automotive version of Buddhist re-incarnation except Saab keeps coming back as an about-to-die brand. The last news (May) was that some of Saab´s putative investors declined to throw more money into the open grave in Trollhattan and the stake was once again hammered into Saab´s turbo´d heart.
Saab is owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB and may they have found a pair of Asian investors to get the Saab corpse up and running again. Automotive News said “An Asian carmaker agreed on Sunday to buy a majority stake in National Electric and finance the company’s operating costs until the deal is complete early next year, the Trollhattan, Sweden, company said in a statement today. National Electric also said it’s in talks with another Asian manufacturer on a joint venture to develop vehicles.” Dongfeng and Mahindra are rumoured to be the investors in question. The amount of money involved is rather small, just bridging finance which will help get production running and buy some more time until the latest re-interment.
I wonder if this situation could be made more grotesque (for humorous purposes) if at the same time Lancia could be appended to this process of death and rebirth. Lancia has been about to die for some considerable time now and is now just about dead. Given the historical links between the two firms (the much loved Saab 600 and the Lancia Thema/Saab 9000) perhaps a case could be made for FCA selling the storied Italian brand to the Swedes. This would allow a second range of never-quite-launched cars to dangle before the expectant masses of Saab and Lancia enthusiasts. It´s just a thought albeit quite a cruel one.