Saab History Learns That BAIC Plans To Continue Old Saab 9-5 Production In Beijing, China

Posted on 21. Sep, 2009 by in 2000-2009, 9-5

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Saab History has learned at the recent 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show that BAIC, the ones that just signed a memorandum of understanding with Koenigsegg, plan on continuing the old Saab 9-5 production in Beijing, China once the all new Saab 9-5 production begins in Trollhattan, Sweden.

Although the old 9-5 Sedan ended production during the first week in July and it’s 9-5 SportCombi counterpart will cease production in March of 2010, that production has been indicated to be continuing on in China at some point.

While all of Saab Automobile’s new products will be built in Trollhättan, Sweden, their old 9-5 now in its 12th year, will continue on for presumably the Chinese only-market. Initially learning about this plan, I was not alarmed as much as the news that came recently from TTELA who spoke to BAIC’s CEO Wang Dazong, where he indicated that he not only wants production, but technology and intellectual property rights from Saab Automobile as well.

I think that recycling a good product is one thing and keeping it alive is a nice idea for a particular market, (I wish they could have done this with the old C900), but wanting Saab’s technology and intellectual rights sounds exactly like what hurt Saab with GM all of these years and I don’t want that repeated with BAIC.

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No Responses to “Saab History Learns That BAIC Plans To Continue Old Saab 9-5 Production In Beijing, China”

  1. Peter Gilbert

    21. Sep, 2009

    This is realy great news as I had this vision for some time now. In fact I mentioned this at the ’07 Convention with Steve Shannon. When one looks at the potential market in China, and they could produce 500,000 9-5’s a year, it means the Marque is now on the world stage enmass. The Chinese get a top notch, safe sedan with hopefully the same emissions control sytems and then we can duplicate this in India. The extra revenue will make Saab even stronger in Sweden.

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  2. karmasutraSAAB

    21. Sep, 2009

    I agree with you Ryan. Saab must be desperate for cash to allow such a deal. I think having both 9-5s in production, from my perspective anyways, makes for an inconsistent image. Mass vehicles in China downgrades Saab’s stance on moving forward and there is the question of Saab’s technology being misused and misrepresented. I don’t want Saab to settle because of financial restraints!

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  3. Ryan

    21. Sep, 2009

    Peter & KarmasutraSAAB,

    Thanks for your thoughts and good to know we’re on the same page.

    We’re all waiting for more details on this program.

    R

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  4. Aaron

    22. Sep, 2009

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I think this is a good thing. Offering the old Beetle in Mexico for many many years after it stopped being sold everywhere else didn’t harm VW did it? The relatively ancient “classic 9-5” will still be miles above any newer native Chinese offering if crash tests on YouTube are any indication of the current state of Chinese automobiles. The fact that Saab will be able to offer a safe, powerful, roomy luxury sedan and wagon hopefully at a very competitive price (would be great to undercut Buick) is a win/win for Saab and its customers there. It also would introduce a whole generation of up-and-comers to Saab, and these customers would hopefully aspire to one of the “new” offerings as their salaries increase. I’m pretty sure that’s what the gameplan must be. The 9-5 has been a solid, reliable flagship for Saab. It’s the closest thing to a Buick that Saab can offer in China at a competitive price. I think it’s a brilliant move. But we’ll see.

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  5. Carl

    23. Sep, 2009

    The 9-5 is as timeless as the 900 at this point. This is fantastic news and I hope that the 640 going to China will help make cars safer as it did to the rest of GM’s product line in the 90s.

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