IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Keep Saab in Sweden or forget about the brand name

As reported here many times before, the use of the Saab brand name and Gripen logo are protected by a three way agreement between Saab Automobile, the aerospace and defence company Saab AB and the commercial vehicle developer and producer Scania AB. I have been firm in my belief that Saab AB and Scania AB will ensure that a buyer of Saab Automobile must keep Saab in Sweden in order to use the brand name. And now the CEO of Saab AB thankfully confirms this stance in an interview done by Svenska Dagbladet.

"We believe that it is important for a country like Sweden to have both research and development - and production. If there is a sustainable option with such a Swedish perspective, we will not object," Saab AB CEO Håkan Buskhe told SvD.

Saab AB will however not allow the use of the brand name if the buyer is not willing to commit to keeping Saab Automobile in Sweden.

"But it can not be a company which buys the brand name and leaves the country, then we will object," Buskhe said.

And Saab AB is very familiar with one of the Saab Automobile suitors, Indian Mahindra & Mahindra. Both companies are involved in the defence industry.

"It is no secret that we work very closely with Mahindra in different stragic partnerships. We know Mahindra very well," Buskhe could tell SvD.

He would however not have any opinion on Mahindra's negotiations with the bankruptcy administrators.

"We make up 0.1 per cent of the world's population and we are very dependent on export. We have to make the best out of what we have. That is how we look at Saab as a whole and how we look at Saab Automobile," Buskhe concluded.

Thanks to Flattail for pointing me to this interview!