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By Andrew Ganz

Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation – or BAIC – will strengthen its relationship with Swedish automaker Saab by distributing the company’s new 9-3 and 9-5 models in the rapidly-expanding Chinese market.

Earlier this year, BAIC bought Saab’s old platforms while former Saab owner General Motors began the process of liquidating the Swedish brand. BAIC was also in negotiations to acquire more of Saab’s technology when Dutch automaker Spyker stepped in and rescued the brand from automotive history books.

It’s unclear if BAIC will set up a Saab distributorship in China that includes a dealership network or if it will try to market the vehicles alongside the Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles it currently distributes. GM’s Chinese efforts were more focused on Buick than Saab, so the automaker only has a handful of retail outlets in the world’s largest new car market.

Spyker and BAIC reportedly want to sell around 5,000 Saabs next year – around 5 percent of the automaker’s global sales goal. Saab will have stiff competition from Volvo, however, when the soon-to-be Chinese-controlled Swedish brand opens its own Chinese factory.



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