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.
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.”