BAIC to distribute Saab in China

UPDATE: I’ve received some email about this story, from Sweden, indicating that this story is one that hasn’t been confirmed at all by Saab and is therefore, only to be considered as rumour on the part of China Car Times.

As noted in my original post, they didn’t cite a source for their information, so this email from Sweden is therefore understandable. I’d now take the story as being false pending further announcements.

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This one’s a few days old, but needs to be passed on for those who haven’t seen it yet as the ramifications are significant. File it in the “I thought that might happen” file.

From the China Car Times (they don’t cite a source):

As well as buying old Saab platforms, Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) has gained the rights to distribute Saab vehicles in China. It is still unclear how exactly BAIC plans to distribute Saab vehicles in China, if they plan to set up a new Saab dealership network totally devoted to Saab, or use its existing dealership network that already deals in Mitsubishi, Jeep and Chrysler products under one roof nationwide.

Whilst we saw a great turnout at Saab Support Convoys in China, the market for Saab is comparatively small, with just 800 vehicles sold in 2008.

Given the release of a new, larger Saab 9-5 (the Chinese like their cars big) and the fact that China is now the world’s largest automotive marketplace, this is an appointment with real potential for Saab.

The report goes on to say that they hope to sell 5,000 vehicles in China in the first full year of business there, which would zoom China up into around fourth place in terms of Saab’s sales ladder.

This is significant additional volume and with the addition of a 9-4x, 9-5 wagon and a new 9-3 coming in 2012, the sky’s the limit.

Here’s hoping that BAIC can get their network in place quickly. This is turning out to be a very nice partnership.

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Thanks to Justyn and Johan!