Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., which plans to immediately utilize the technology that it recently acquired from General Motors Co.'s Saab unit, revealed that production of these cars will begin as early as 2011. BAIC, China's fifth-largest automaker, acquired the rights to vehicle platforms from Saab for an undisclosed amount.
There are unconfirmed reports that BAIC paid $197 million for the assets, which include the intellectual property and tooling for the current-generation Saab 9-5 and some IP from the 9-3.
The purchase, which was put together in just two weeks, comes after negotiations for Koenigsegg Group AB to buy the entire Saab had broken down.
BAIC had been a part of Koenigsegg's bid. At a news conference, Gu Lei, president of BAIC's technology center, said that commercial production for vehicles with Saab's technology could start as soon as mid-2011.
And the merging of technologies probably won't stop there as BAIC President Wang Dazong shared that the company and Saab are considering other opportunities related to technologies such as "new energy" vehicles.
Dazong said that BAIC has to become more competent and it needs to have its own brand cars. The ultimate goal, of course is to "become a global company." BAIC has revealed that it is not interested in acquiring Saab's production hub in Trollhattan. [via autonews]