Chinese legal and illegal love for SAAB

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Got a link from Francois Godillion on an article in The old generation Saab 9-5 is now made by The Beijing Auto corporation as the Senova B70 car. At a Beijing Auto dealer this D70 was found with a SAAB exterior kit. A kit that can be bought on the internet for 86 USD making the Senova to a SAAB 9-5 AERO. It is in all ways legal for a owner to do with his/her car but if a dealer is selling cars like this I guess it is another ballgame. But this is not the first story of copied stuff in China. Some years ago Volvo Trucks found a company making Volvo-Like trucks in China.

Nice to see that the SAAB name finally reappears in GOLD last time that happened was in the grille of the 99 models in late seventies. Gold is a color that is very appreciated in china so why not get a Senova in red with gold accents that would be the most successful SAAB ever. That is if You believe in china traditions.

Skärmavbild 2016-02-24 kl. 12.27.16Skärmavbild 2016-02-24 kl. 12.27.48 Skärmavbild 2016-02-24 kl. 12.27.38

The really illegal stuff is found in some printed material from BAIC as photographed in a Senova dealership . Wonder if Nicolas Cage knows he is an ad campaign or is it a chinese look-alike gentleman? On the posters can be seen a 9-5 NG steering wheel, interior from the SAAB museum, a NON-SAAB jetfighter (guess they did not dare having a Gripen or Viggen in the poster) and the old SAAB-Performance Team.

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48 thoughts on “Chinese legal and illegal love for SAAB”

    • Guess it is hurting both Saab AB and Nevs. I wish Nevs best of luck making their own brand. But it will be a tough task, a brand name and symbol ? that will work in different cultures.

  1. Nicolas Cage actually is an official spoke person of the Senova brand. They signed a contract a few years ago and he participated in a commercial for the D70. The use of SAAB name is probably really not allowed. This made me think: I know in the US it is not forbidden to mention a competing brand in advertising materials, for example you could say “Our brand X is better than the brand Y” something that is not allowed in European countries (as far as I know). So I wonder if BAIC was doing this in the US would it be legal?

  2. Why don’t they use the GM-logo instead?

    Why do we never see a fake GM-logo from China?

    No one wants a GM… But, they make alot of them – Saab’s we want alot, but fakes are made only!

  3. It would really take someone with expertise in international trademark infringement law to weigh in on what recourse is available to SAAB AB, but this speaks volumes about the business environment in China. People often complain about all of the laws and regulations in the US and EU, at least until they come under their protection. To their credit, China did adopt a trademark law in 2014 that largely brings them into conformity with international trademark law, so a step in the right direction. It will be interesting to see to what extent Western companies try to use it to enforce their own trademarks and the like.

  4. Does anyone know if there is a legal reason/restriction on BAIC bringing Senova to the United States and Canada? If they were successful in getting these cars to pass our emissions and safety requirements, would they be legally able to sell them? I’m not talking about the ones with Saab kits on them—-but the standard Senova cars based on old Saab models. If they were priced right, I think they could move a lot of them. I would absolutely consider buying one.

    • I doubt that they could sell enough of this near antique platform in the U.S. to have a “priced right” sticker and not lose money. Even when the platform was new, SAAB couldn’t sell enough 9-5’s to make a consistent profit.

      • Saabs weren’t priced competitively compared to what the same money would buy in other lines. Screwing these together in China and not having developmental costs associated with a new model, I bet they could bring it in for much, much less than what Saab was asking for.

        • The low volume of U.S. sales will assure the need for a high list price. This would be followed by the (familiar) deep discounts/rebates and a loss on each unit.

          • Wouldn’t necessarily be a loss on each unit if assembled in China. Hyundai and KIA were low volume in the U.S. once upon a time too. They found that lower prices led to higher volume.

              • People need to get over that. Low volume didn’t work out too well. They could have a low volume pricey model maybe—-but the idea that will work for them moving forward is high volume, low price.

                  • It’s just a suggestion to save the brand—-or if it’s already too late to save the brand, it’s advice for NEVS to position their new brand. They aren’t going to get Volvo money for their cars. They’re just not—-whether they are Saabs or Nevies. If they want to put the world in electric cars, maybe they need to offer the lowest priced EV—the “Model T” or VW Beetle of EVs—the “every man’s” car.

        • The 93 story is not ended yet.The following can happen to see what nevs engineers can come up with regarding their platforms with improvements on:Car segment position,interior space, road behavior due to improved space for axle geometry,Cw values etc. In that case they better remove the 93 link to look better.

    • If chinese companies take over western companies mostly they want 100 percent and self control. We all know what happened when geely tried to buy saab.

  5. Probably a background ploy by NEVS to grow the SAAB fan base in China in hopes to regain the rights for the name when they try to sell all the cars there.

  6. BIAC, Basically Inferior Aged Car.
    If these people build cars like most of the other products they make we are in for a sad time. Chinese drywall and laminated flooring anyone.

    • Most all brands face the knock-off problem in china but: Has no effect in selling, Making too much noise can be negative for other business ties and joint ventures, Enforcing the rights ends up against a wall of chinese bureaucracy, If you win it’s a pyrrhus victory a lose- lose situation, so better make some small talk.

    • That is the past they move from just making to creative work. China has the largest patent registration in the world and not only china steals. Axle and suspension infringement is also done by us and a lot more.

  7. I recall someone on this blog writing that the Chinese did not care about the SAAB brand that was therefore worthless!
    Maybe they do care in the end …

  8. This lot are to stupid to invent anything by themselves and have to resort to copying. SAAB AB needs to slap a lawsuit on them. Its not like SAAB are ever going to sell aircraft in China.

    • Joe: And you dig for the truth, as usual. And you find it. Yes, yes, yes—the REAL reason I am bitter toward NEVS is that with Youngman in line to get Saab, there was a budding romance in my future with Rachel Pang. It was only a matter of time. Then NEVS came in and BANG, that was the end of that.

  9. Off-topic but I saw this on Automotive News Europe:
    Bo Andersson started his career at Saab in Trollhättan and has become one of the leading managers in the automotive world. I think this is the opportunity for him to return to Sweden and ‘Saab/Nevs’ to take the lead over the future business. He is a really passionate guy with many friends within the former Saab organisation and also among Saab suppliers. Keep my fingers crossed!

  10. Another strike against the hapless boys at NEVS…think of the awesome car that would have been made if our own Angelo V was “collaborating” with Rachel Pang!

    • Joe:
      I’ve had a link “awaiting moderation” for a couple days now, so I’ll try posting it without the http:// or www. It’s good news for us U.S. Saab owners: Parts!

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