BAIC Buys Saab 9-5 Tooling

Thor Johnsen
by Thor Johnsen

A few days ago I captured some news from Swedish 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, 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. 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).

Join the conversation
5 of 21 comments
  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Dec 04, 2009

    Exactly. The Chinese are quite capable when the margins are there. IIRC, the Chinese produce most of the worlds solar cells. And a good chunk of the electronics in any device.

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Dec 05, 2009

    VW is famous for moving their tooling around, letting the designs move progressively down market. It makes a lot of sense for a well designed platform to keep being made. Now, in this case, how good a SAAB is made with chinese labour and chinese steel remains to be seen. The BAIC factory won't have near the automation that the Trollhatten had and the raw materials are infamously poor compared to the international standards. I hope Bertel or someone can get a crack at a copy when they enter the market. We now have a standard to compare against. Should be interesting.

    • Norma Norma on Dec 07, 2009

      BAIC has a JV with Mercedes building C-class.

  • Littlehulkster Littlehulkster on Dec 05, 2009

    I didn't read the article OR the discussion, I just wanted to say that the black haired lady in the beginning of the video was pretty hot. I'd let her torquesteer into my tree any day.

  • Norma Norma on Dec 07, 2009

    Wasn't the old Saab 9-5 derived from Opel Vectra? If so, shouldn't GM have a say on such transaction?