BAIC to buy the design rights of outgoing Saab 9-5

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

The tooling and design rights to the outgoing Saab 9-5 are likely to be bought by the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC), according to our sources.

Recently, BAIC became a minority shareholder in the Koenigsegg Group, which is seeking to buy Saab from General Motors. If BAIC's plans go ahead, production of the 9-5 will be moved to China.

Incidentally, production of the 9-5 estate is expected to end in the next few weeks. Questions are circulating on whether BAIC will re-start production of the 9-5 in its current form or whether it will re-skin the car for sale under BAIC's own brand. 

Chinese carmakers have been known to do the latter. It can be recalled that production of the Rover 75 and MG ZT was re-started in China after MG Rover collapsed and production of the Alfa Romeo 166 was moved to Guangzhou Auto last year.

Saab's own long-running slant-four turbocharged petrol engine powers the 9-5. The plant building this engine was closed earlier this year, making it another potential buy-out target for BAIC.

It's believed that shifting production of the defunct engine to China would be a simpler operation than re-engineering the 9-5 to accommodate a new drivetrain. [via autocar]

Topics: baic, saab, saab 9-5, design

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