China’s BAIC – minority shareholders in Saab’s putative owner Koenigsegg – are reportedly planning to buy up all the tooling for the old Saab 9-5 and move production to China.
Saab has recently revealed the new 2010 9-5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Fine car bit appears to be, and we reckon it’s a great launch for the new Saab under Koenigsegg’s ownership. But what of the old tooling for the current 9-5, which is far from in it’s first flush of youth, having been a Saab model for the last 40 years (not quite, it just seems like it)?
It would seem that there is a use for it – not just scrap value. BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation), which recently acquired a small stake in Saab and where there are high hopes of some good Saab sales in China, wants to buy up the old 9-5 tooling. And move it lock, stock and barrel to Beijing.
Which is actually familiar territory for the Chinese. SAIC did exactly the same thing when they bought up the assets of Rover. A cheap way to launch a new car in China. All it takes is a news set of badges and away you go. And those huge cost savings would make the old 9-5 a very viable entry-level option for Chinese buyers who can’t afford a nice, shiny 2010 9-5.
There is also the option for BAIC of buying up the recently closed factory which produced the old Saab slant-four engine. BAIC could buy that up and ship it out to China. A complete DIY car makers set at a knock down price.
Not always inscrutable , these Chinese. Sometimes entirely transparent and logical.Source: Autocar