A few days ago I captured some news from Swedish Aftonbladet.se that Beijing Auto (BAIC) is buying Saab’s now to be replaced 9-5 technology. Even though the Koenigsegg-Saab deal fell apart, and BAIC were a part of the investor group, the Chinese has not given up the idea to build Saabs in China. At the time I couldn’t find any other reports on this, and wondered wether Aftonbladet had done some creative journalism, but yesterday, Nyteknik.se reported the same news, citing their own sources. They’ve even confronted Saab’s spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs, but of course she can not, will not comment on that.
According to the Swedish newssites, BAIC’s technicians never left Trollhättan after the deal broke down. BAIC’s plans are to buy the manufacturing equipment for the current 9-5 (which have just been dismanteled in the Trollhättan factory) and also aquire the equipment for the cast-iron Södertälje engines sitting in the 9-5 and old 9-3, and then to build 9-5s in Beijing. Allegedly, BAIC have agreed to pay SEK 1 billion, of the three billion they had put in the Konigsegg Group pot, for this deal. Aftonbladet.se states Saabsunited and aftonbladet’s own sources within Saab as sources for this information.
The 9-5s will be built in BAIC’s factory in Beijing, and sold as Beijing or Great Wall – not as Saabs. BAIC has also expressed interest in using the remaining SEK 2 Billion to invest in future Saab models, and are open to partnership with other interested buyers of Saab, like Spyker, or Renco Group, which reportedly are interested in stepping into the broken deal (under the right circumstances, of course).