The Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corporation, which now wants to partner with Saab, had actually been involved in a failed attempt to purchase Saab from General Motors.
BAIC CEO Wang Dazong said that the Chinese automaker has a "durable interest" in expanding the partnership with Saab. Wang also said that BAIC is prepared to invest in Saab.
It can be recalled that last year, BAIC submitted a bid for Saab but it was ultimately rejected. GM picked Koenigsegg later on but the transaction fell short. It was Spyker Cars N.V. that was eventually able to negotiate a deal for the brand, paying nearly $400 million last February.
Last December, BAIC bought the rights and tooling to the previous-generation 9-5 and 9-3 models for $188 million. Later this year, a BAIC version of the 9-5 is expected to be launched in China.
Furthermore, BAIC has entered an agreement to sell Saab through its Chinese dealer network, expanding the Swedish automaker's global presence.
BAIC appears to be expanding its alliance with the carmaker. For now, we could only speculate it this would be in the form of an investment in the company or as a technological partnership.
In the first quarter of 2010, Spyker CEO Victor Muller had said Saab was investigating several potential partnerships with other automakers that could provide the small firm access to parts, components, and technologies, or help amortize the cost of developing new product. [via automobilemag]