More on Beijing Automotive’s Saab-based show cars

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!

New Saab-based models from Beijing – in the metal

A few days ago we saw a CGI of what Beijing Automotive were planning with the Saab 9-5 tooling they bought from Saab.
That was a prelude to the Beijing Auto Show but I wasn’t sure if they’d be ready to show something for real. You gotta hand it to the Chinese, though. They’re nothing if not industrious. This is pretty quick work for a company that only just acquired the technology.
And so it is that a website called has snapped up some images of the vehicles – so fresh they’re still wrapped in plastic – being unloaded off a truck, presumably for the Beijing show.
The Saab 9-5 based C71

AND the Saab 9-3 based C60
Thanks to Bulf74 for the link to Sohu!

Beijing Automotive’s C71 (Saab 9-5)

Late last night, I received a link to this site, showing an image of the Beijing Automotive C71. Unfortunately I coldn’t find ay information on that site confirming that that’s what they want to build, it just showed a name.
Thankfully, this morning, there’s a few more links coming through via email and it certainly does seem to be the car that Beijing Automotive want to build with the 9-5 tooling that they bought from Saab.
From the China Car TImes:

The SUV’s may be cool, but the real star of the line up is the Beijing C71, based on the Saab technology that Beijing Auto acquired from Saab prior to its sale to Spyker cars earlier this year. Powerplants for the above models, aside from the EV, are likely to be Saab units in turbo and naturally aspirated form.

Thanks to Jos and Justyn for the confirming links, and to Jokejoe.

BAIC wants to invest more in Saab

From AFP, with thanks to Zippy

STOCKHOLM — China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. wants to invest in Saab after it failed to buy the Swedish car company, BAIC’s chief said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.
“We have a durable interest in deepening our partnership with Saab and we are ready to invest in the company,” BAIC chief executive Wang Dazong told Swedish business daily Dagens Industri.
China’s fifth biggest car maker was one of the bidders to take over loss-making Saab from General Motors, but the US group dismissed BAIC’s bid and sold it to Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars, Wang said.

Fine with me. Invest, but don’t buy.
If I was a Volvo fan I’d be darkening my underpants right now. Bt a partner relationship done the right way could bring great things for both companies.

News from Saab – new BAIC deal and

It’s non-stop action on many different fronts at Saab right now. There’s new and mysterious model variations going on, dealer presentations all around the world, a de-facto spokesman for Russia and in the midst of all that, new goings-on in China and Trollhattan as well.
Saab have had to pay a bill for services rendered by accounting firms Vinge and KPMG, who were hired by the Swedish National Debt Office to assess Saab’s assets when Saab were applying for government loan guarantees. The account came to 39million Swedish crowns, which is a lot of clams.
Just wait til they get my bill!!!!
Saab employees at the factory in Sweden will be having a shorter vacation this Summer. An agreement has been reached to shorten the traditional vacation from 4 weeks down to 3.
I think they’ll cope. It’s not like they’ve been overworked so far this year 🙂
Saab has reached a new agreement with Beijing Automotive. On top of the vehicle tooling they’ve already sold and the ongoing consultancy they’ll have regarding that, Saab now have a marketing agreement with BAIC.
The MoU was signed on Monday and means that Saab will have a foot in the door in China, as well as BAIC possibly having some access to some of Saab’s 1,100 dealers around the world.
This could be the beginning of a long, intricate relationship.
And on that Saab vehicle tooling that BAIC bought…… they’ve already commenced work on a new factory capable of building 150,000 cars a year, as well as an engine plant. Fast movers.

Thanks to MrY and Justyn for tips!

Tuesday night snippets

Bloomberg are reporting that an announcement on the sale of Saab might be held over until next week, beyond GM’s deadline of December 31st.
That’s according to Paul Akerlund, the head of the IF Metall trade union.

“It’s our understanding that if there’s a bid that GM finds sufficiently interesting, then the 31st of December is not a date that’s holy,” Aakerlund said in a telephone interview today. “They’re working with the bids they’ve received for Saab. Spyker and others are very willing to buy Saab, so we’re still hoping for that solution.”

All of my sources were quite hopeful of an announcement this week, most likely on Wednesday. Merbanco have said they’re happy to work with whatever timeframe GM chooses and Spyker have had the December 31 deadline at the front of their minds.
I guess it’s a case of no news being good news, but I hope it’s done this week. I couldn’t stand to wait any longer.
The press release is now live and has been distributed to around 400 news publications in key areas of the US via PR Web.
Whether they pick it up and run with it is another thing all together, but at least it’s out there.
The full release is reproduced after the jump.
The time is now, Ed.
It’s going to be interesting to see what Beijing Automotive do with the technology they’ve acquired from Saab. They’ll have plenty of help from Saab themselves to implement what they’ve bought, and they’ve got some deep pockets to do it, too.
From the China Daily:

….the company will spend 33 billion yuan over the next three years to develop three to four passenger car models and two to three turbocharged engines based on the acquired Saab 9-5 and 9-3 sedans as well as the Swedish carmaker’s engine technologies.
Its car lineup will include mid-sized hatchback and notchback models, compact hatchback and CUV (crossover utility vehicle).

Imagine building hatchbacks on modern Saab architectures? Whodathunkit?
And ignore the new 9-5 picture, OK?
Can you believe there’s a poll out there that we haven’t attended en-masse, and it’s come out in Saab’s favour?
This poll appeared on and asked people their thoughts on a decision to close Saab. The options are as follows:

  1. It is a good thing, it was never was a good company
  2. It is better this way
  3. Eternal sin

As you can see, an overwhelming majority figured it was “An Eternal Sin” to close down Saab.
God bless the Dutchies. Home of the oldest Saab Club in the world.
Thanks to Joep!

Read moreTuesday night snippets

Saab provide more information on the BAIC deal

Magnus Nordberg at TTELA has dug a little deeper into the sale of Saab technology to BAIC and as we presumed, it’s all gravy and all good for Saab. The deal will not only provide a one-off cash injection, but will likely keep Saab and BAIC working together for some time.

The highlights, via Googletrans:


– We have talked to our potential buyers who think this is a good approach, “says Mats Fägerhag, which was the main person at Saab to bring together the deal with the Chinese.

Work has been going on since Week 37 and from the beginning it was conceived as a joint venture with Koenigsegg Group. When the group withdrew [from the Saab deal] Saab and BAIC continued the discussions, which have now led to this Agreement.

Purchase rights

The agreement means that BAIC will buy production tools to the old Saab 9-5, and technology from both 9-5 and 9-3.

– You buy drawings and technical documents with rights to build cars in China, says Fägerhag, and continues:

– But they will not copy the cars. They should make their own cars, adapted for the local market, based on 9-5 and 9-3 of the model year -04.

Although these [models] are a few years old, the cars are models with high crashworthiness and technology that stands up well in China. And potential in the Chinese market is huge……

Creates jobs

…..I guess we will have people in place permanently in China, and that they will bring a job with us here, “says Fägerhag, who has already scheduled a China trip.

– I go myself over in January along with some others.

He points out that Trollhättans development center is an asset to the BAIC, but what the exact details of cooperation will look like is still too early to tell.


Thanks to SR in comments!

Monday night snippets

It’s been another heady day in Saabland.
Beijing bought some bits and people anxious as to exactly what they’ve acquired. My advice: Don’t sweat it.
The bottom line is that they did NOT buy the new 9-5, nor the latest Saab 9-3 gear. If Saab have been vague about the transaction, it’s probably for good reason (most likely to assist the buyer by focusing on the technology being bought, not the age or specifics of that technology).
This sale is pure gravy for Saab. The ballpark figure that’s been mentioned to me by Djup Strupe is SEK3billion 1.4billion SEK (I make that out to be around US$197million), which is pretty good for equipment that would have just sat idle otherwise, as well as the ongoing expertise to make use of it.
To the people who put this deal together – kudos!
Meanwhile, we’re all getting a little anxious about the lack of information about the Spyker bid for Saab. Reports are that they’re still hard at work, with Bloomberg reporting key people are in Zurich dealing with Deutsche Bank about the sale.
Saab are issuing a giant No Comment on progress, and the same Bloomberg report gives you an idea as to why:

Spyker rose as much as 31 cents, or 17 percent, to 2.11 euros and traded at 2.05 euros as of 10:59 a.m. in Amsterdam. The stock has gained 32 percent since the super-car maker confirmed its interest in Saab.

The majority of Spyker stock is held in just a few hands, but it’s still a publicly traded company and statements about the progress of the deal could artificially inflate or deflate the stock price.
I imagine they’ll continue to play this very close to their chests. Godspeed to all of you.
So……Go ahead and tie that all up.
Saab have new models just waiting to be built. They have a very lean factory and a re-organised company. They have some of the best management in the business. And they’ve just had a major cash infusion and will likely develop an ongoing partnership based on the transaction.
All they need is the buyer. Bring it on!
A couple of photos for you…..
Another Saab 96 no-top, which looks like it might be undergoing some refurbishment. From the Saab Friends networking site.
And a Saab 900 convertible that looks like it’s in need of no refurbishment whatsoever. Deeeee-licious!
thanks to Robin M and Eric!

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