Press Report : BMW and Saab in talks to develop a new MINI-based 92?

Automotive News Europe, 11th June, 2010

Saab 92 Prototype - will the spirit of the original return with the new MINI-based car?

Saab 92 Prototype - will the spirit of the original return with the new MINI-based car?

BMW AG and Saab are discussing sharing parts and technology for a new small car the Swedish automaker wants to build, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

A possible deal for BMW to provide Saab with engines, transmissions and allow Saab to use BMW’s platform is in the early stages and an announcement isn’t imminent, the people said, declining to be identified because the negotiations are private. An agreement will take at least two months, one of them said.

The parts and platform would be used to build a tear-drop shaped car, inspired by the Saab 92 model that was in production between 1949 and 1956.The partnership talks were first reported today in Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.

Saab, which Dutch supercar maker Spyker Cars NV bought from General Motors Co. in February, has spent the last three months restarting production and severing most of its GM ties.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller told Bloomberg today that Saab is “talking to various parties” about sharing technology as a way to lower costs. Muller declined to say whether he is in discussions with BMW.

Saab, in an official statement, said: “We indeed are looking for alliance partners but no cooperation with (any other OEM) has been confirmed at this time. A smaller Saab below the 9-3 is not currently in our Business Plan though it would be on our wish list.”

BMW would not comment specifically on the Dagens Industri story. “We are in talks with several interested parties who have interest in our technology,” a BMW spokesman said. “There are no contracts with Saab at the moment.”

BMW diesel engine

Dagens Industri said there are also plans for BMW to supply a diesel engine for Saab’s 9-4X mid-size crossover, which will be built at a GM plant in Mexico starting in April 2011 and launch in Europe at the start of 2011.

Spyker is hoping to restore the fortunes of the Swedish brand, aiming to more than double yearly sales to 85,000 by 2012.

Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

[Editor’s Note: Dagens Industri seems to be regarded by many within the Automotive Industry as a pretty reliable source – AROnline reckons the chances are that the much mooted new (MY14?) Saab 92 will use either the current or next generation MINI’s engines, transmissions and platform. See also: Saab’s MINI rivalling 9-2 scooped by Car, Tim Pollard, Car Online, 9th April, 2010, Saab 92 ‘decision in 100 days,’ Richard Bremner, Autocar.co.uk, 3rd June, 2010 and Saab ‘to use BMW/MINI engines,’ Autocar.co.uk, 11th June, 2010.]

Posted in: AROnline News, MINI
Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

8 Comments on "Press Report : BMW and Saab in talks to develop a new MINI-based 92?"

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  1. Dr Bobby Love says:

    BMW could always flog Saab the R30 – that’s assuming it didn’t become the 1 Series…

  2. Shep says:

    A pastiche with a Saab badge – just what the world needs right now!

  3. Paul says:

    How many more times! The 1 Series is just a shortened 3 Series with a hatchback body – it shares nothing with the R30 apart from having a silhouette that’s vaguely similar. No doubt you think man never landed on the moon and Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t shoot John F. Kennedy!

  4. Jon says:

    Well done, Paul – Rover would never have produced anything so badly packaged!

  5. Dr Bobby Love says:

    @Paul
    WOW! lol… I did say “assuming.”

    Did I accidentally stumble upon something that comes up in the forum quite often?

  6. Jon says:

    LOL um? Yup, it has come up before…

  7. Paul Van Nijen says:

    Look out Saab, BMW will destroy the marque – they have done it with the Glas and Rover marques.
    Greetings from Belgium,
    Paul

  8. Ianto says:

    Fantastic!

    BMW can provide the mainstream support that Saab will require – if they can apply the lessons learned from the MINI to the new 92 the future will be very bright indeed.

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