Press Release: Saab Automobile to team up with CATC for China import

This wasn’t really expected until next year, but as things tend to do at the moment, it came out while I was sleeping 🙂

It’s great news because it opens the door for Saab in China once again, but inroads will be small to begin with as the real benefits from being in China come when you can manufacture there.

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Saab Automobile to team up with CATC for China import

  • Saab sets up its own organization in China
  • Saab Automobile and CATC agree in principal on import deal for Saab cars and parts for Chinese market
  • Beijing-based CATC established operator in Chinese automotive sector
  • Major step to establish Saab brand in China as expansion of Saab sales operations continues

Trollhättan, Sweden: Saab Automobile today announced a major step in the expansion of its sales operations by announcing a planned agreement with China Automobile Trading Co. LTD (CATC) regarding the import of Saab vehicles and spare parts for the Chinese market. By signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CATC, Saab re-establishes a firm footing for the brand in the largest car market in the world.

Beijing-based CATC is a government-owned company with many years’ experience in the automotive business and will play an important role in the new Saab organisation in China. Under the MOU, CATC will, on behalf of Saab, assume responsibility of the import of Saab cars and parts to China. A contract sealing the agreement is expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2011, with official sales starting in July 2011.

CATC will serve as an official service provider to Saab China, a sales company that will be established in the coming period. Saab China will eventually take over all distribution and after sales responsibilities in China from Shanghai GM, thus far responsible for Saab sales in China. Saab China will maintain a dealer network that is initially set to comprise around ten dealers.

Announcing the agreement, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson said: “This agreement is vital for Saab, as it will be the foundation to develop a stronger presence in what is now the largest car market in the world. I am confident that CATC will prove to be the perfect partner for us as we revamp our sales activities in the Chinese market.

“Saab sees strong sales potential in China and we are confident that our product offering will be attractive to both existing and new customers in the market. We look forward to re-establishing the Saab brand in China next year with exciting new products like the new 9-5 Sedan and the 9-4X crossover vehicle.”

SAAB_andee
Guest
SAAB_andee
5 years 9 months ago

Great news – hope there will be some sales.
Is there a possibility to check car registrations ?

Paul V
Guest
Paul V
5 years 9 months ago

Great news, rather important to have a channel to get cars on the chinese market.
As a result the Spyker shares went up 22% on the stock exchange here in Holland !

Dippen
Guest
Dippen
5 years 9 months ago

good news indeed!! I hope we have someone from China who can inform us at SU about sales figures and local saab-news:)

Bravada
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

“in principal”? Is this the actual press release???

ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 9 months ago
Yep, mostly. It misses the introductory blah about how Spyker is a holding company of etc. And the first point of the summing-up, the ‘own organization’ thing, has been added by Swade, probably because he considered it important enough to emphasize. But the ‘in principal’ is in the original press release ( http://www.spykercars.nl/download/artikel/Persbericht_CATC_201210.pdf ) as well 😉 . Someone should have explained to the PR guy responsible how to use the spellchecker. It leaves behind a certain odium of amateurism. Still, it does somehow convey an endearing emotion to me when I compare it to those polished, ultra-professional and oh-so-carefully… Read more »
ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 9 months ago

So, funnily enough, there are obviously a few differences between the Saab version and the Spyker version of the release.

Ivo

turbokalle
Guest
turbokalle
5 years 9 months ago

Hopefully we are yet to understand the importance of this deal. Are there anyone with knowledge of the chinese car market that could provide some info on how Saab is regarded and known in China?
Well done JÅJ and VM!

Troll96
Guest
Troll96
5 years 9 months ago

Glad to hear that it involves sales only and not production. Production inevitably involves joint partnerships and technology sharing. As foreign wind turbine and bullet train manufacturers have learned, when that happens, the sales gained come at the cost of (very rapidly) incubating one’s own global competitors.

Having said that, the Chinese car market is hot, and there are plenty of prospective urban buyers for a brand that has quality and style. The roomier 9-5 should fit nicely since executive cars in East Asian markets are often chauffeur-driven, with the owner sitting in back.

Daniel Wang
Guest
Daniel Wang
5 years 9 months ago
I am a little bit disappointed that SAAB re-entered China market via CATC. This is a typical state owned company…in another word, the boss behind is our communist party..sometimes they are very much bureauratic, and not very much market oriented or flexible to the market. SAAB is still with good reputation here in China. I am from Shanghai and I am driving a 93ss, and I saw more and more SAABs running on the street here even though no official dealer is announed yet. Of course not comparable to BMW, Mercedes or Audi. But definately the sale of SAAB should… Read more »
Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 9 months ago

Every company in China is in some way connected to the communist party.

Daniel Wang
Guest
Daniel Wang
5 years 9 months ago

But this is an extream..a state owned company from Beijing..my godness..

Bravada from GMI
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

Yeah, I also wonder what’s behind the choice and why BAIC wasn’t chosen for further cooperation…

Ying
Guest
Ying
5 years 9 months ago

U-oh, The Chinese Saab fans are not thrilled by this news.

As Daniel pointed out, this is a really clunky state-run company. i,e in some sense they are ‘above’ competition, so they don’t care much about their service.

They are generally regarded as being very in-efficient and crap at customer service with a high mark up.

They are also importers of Jeep/Crysler/ Mitsubishi/Opel(?) right now, are they going to have a 5 brand show room? Yuck.

We’ll have to wait and see.

ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 9 months ago
If I interpret the press release correctly then the role of CATC is only to get Saab cars and parts into China and ends when these goods are in a warehouse somewhere in China. The distribution, meaning the setting up and running of the dealer network, the service organisation, the promotional activities and the physical distribution of cars and parts from the warehousing facility to the dealer network etc. will be handled by Saab China, a company owned by Saab themselves, which will be set up in the near future. So the bad record of CATC regarding customer service and… Read more »
eduardo_spain
Guest
eduardo_spain
5 years 9 months ago

Great News!

As far as I am concerned the chinese market could be even more important for Saab than the russian market. The German car export figures are growing more and more based on this country so it is crucial for Saab´s sutainable future. I am already anxious to read the future news on SU regarding the Chinese sales.
Regards

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