We heard a few weeks ago that BAIC might be interested in producing the outgoing Saab 9-5 for the Chinese domestic market, but a report in Autocar today sheds a whole different light on that particular prospect:
The Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) is poised to buy the tooling and design rights to the outgoing Saab 9-5, according to Autocar sources.
BAIC recently became a minority shareholder in the Koenigsegg Group, which is attempting to buy Saab from General Motors.
If the plans go ahead, the 9-5 will be ‘shifted lock, stock and barrel’ to China…..
…..There’s no news as to whether BAIC intends to re-start production of the 9-5 in an unchanged form or whether it will re-skin the car for sale under BAIC’s own brand.
I guess it comes down to deciding which course would make Saab more money – having BAIC produce the old car under licence, or selling the whole show.
Though if they’re buying the whole 9-5 setup, that would indicate that perhaps they’re looking at selling it with a different skin and a new name, which would make sense for Saab as they will want to re-launch into China with a new, fresh face.
Autocar also state that BAIC might be interested in the old engine plant in Sodertalje, however that plant has been sold and is now operating under a new name, producing different parts.
Perhaps they were referring to buying the engine technology and plans, rather than the actual plant?
Thanks to Dennis, via comments (and quite possibly another commenter that I’ve missed, too)