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China's BAIC Working with Pininfarina on Saab-based Model, Confirms Interest in the Italian Design House


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China's BAIC Working with Pininfarina on Saab-based Model, Confirms Interest in the Italian Design House



Yesterday, we brought you photos and details about a new and very Mercedes-Benz B-Class-like model from BAIC or Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp. Today, we have more news on the Chinese automaker as a media report citing an unnamed executive from the company claims that BAIC is working with Italian engineering and design specialist Pininfarina on a new vehicle based on the underpinning of a previous generation Saab model.

Last year, BAIC purchased the intellectual rights for Saab's older 9-5 and certain 9-3 models from General Motors, which then still owned the Swedish firm.

"I just came back from Italy last week and have communicated with the technical staff at Pininfarina about the design proposal of the Saab models," the BAIC executive said. "Pininfarina is the most successful overseas car design company in China. BAIC has been collaborating with it on development of models based on the Saab technology and will display an all-new concept car with the Saab genes at next year's Shanghai auto show, while Pininfarina will be responsible for the contour design of the car."

We'll remind you that BAIC's subsidiary BAW (Beijing Auto Work), showed a Saab 9-3-based model called the C60 along with a larger sedan based on the 9-5 named C71 (pictured here), at the Beijing Auto Show this past April.

The unnamed BAIC exec also confirmed reports from Italian media about the company's interest in taking over Pininfarina S.p.A.

"BAIC has submitted the bid for the Italian firm for several months," he said. "The successful acquisition of Pininfarina will be very favorable for BAIC’s development of future models. But BAIC does not have to win the bid, after all, the two sides are still under the cooperation."

Other companies said to be interested in the money-losing Italian design house include Canadian-Austrian parts supplier Magna International and India's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.



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