Saab and the Chinese automaker Hawtai will announce “an exciting strategic partnership between both parties” at a press conference scheduled for tomorrow, reports MarketWatch. According to Saab/Spyker CEO Victor Muller,
the deal involves “investing in Spyker.”
Hawtai was previously a joint venture partner of Hyundai, and had been approached by Chrysler as a possible partner. The firm reportedly has an annual production capacity of 350k vehicles, 450k automatic transmissions and 300k (Euro IV and V-compliant) diesel engines built under license from VM Motori. The B11 (above) is the firm’s first own-brand sedan, although over the next three years the firm has “plans to launch six more diesel or diesel-electric hybrid passenger cars.” According to chinaautoweb, Hawtai’s gamble on its giant diesel engine plant, the largest and most sophisticated in Asia, may not be panning out as diesel availability has been an issue in the Chinese market, due to high demand from the trucking industry.