UPDATE – new image below
There’s been a fair bit of interest – and some mixed feeling – about the Saab-based cars that Beijing Automotive (BAIC) will be showing at the Beijing Auto Show, starting this Friday.
Here are the two cars once again….
I’ve had a few emails come in from people in the region.
I’m pleased to let you all know that a local named Simo will be heading off the Beijing Auto Show and will send along some photos of the cars displayed on the stands. It’ll be great to hear his thoughts and get the images online.
Also, Kenny T has written in with a few bits and pieces about them as well.
Firstly, the word going around several Chinese forums (forii?) is that these vehicles have been built in Trollhattan as show specials. I know a few of you have speculated about this in comments and it seems you might be right.
It makes sense, too, that these would be purpose built show cars. All other manufacturers do it, and BAIC most likely don’t have the machinery they’ve acquired set up and ready to produce vehicles yet.
Secondly, Kenny has sent along a picture of the interior of the C60, which looks like it’s directly out of a 2007+ Saab 9-3. I don’t have a reference for the site where the image originates but you can see the different badge on the steering wheel.
Again, this would tend to confirm to me that it’s a Trolhattan built car. I’m sure the Chinese would modify the interior to some extent.
it does raise some questions as to which version of the 9-3 they might have bought, though. All indications that have come to me from Saab were that they bought pre-2006 Saab 9-3 ‘tooling’. Exactly what they mean by ‘tooling’ I’m not sure, but I’ve always assumed it’s the specialised machinery involved and the right to use any intellectual property in terms of design and engineering, etc.
The appearance of a 2007+ interior does muddy the waters a little on that count, but I don’t think it necessarily changes things.
If these are what they seem – show cars built in Trollhattan, essentially concept cars – then it would make perfect sense that an existing interior would be installed given the time constraints involved in putting these cars together.
Regardless, it’s very interesting to see what BAIC have done with Saab’s work and I look forward to watching these evolve and make their way to market in the future.
New images available over at BitAuto. Thanks Kenny!
UPDATE – new image below