Saab Automobile has reached a deal with China Automobile Trading Co. Ltd. for Saab to return to China in July 2011. They have agreed for China Automobile to distribute Saab’s cars, including the 9-5 sedan and 9-4X crossover. Making a comeback in China is a part of Saab’s strategy to return to profit and sell 120,000 cars globally by 2012.
During the economic crisis in 2008, Saab’s previous owner General Motors Co. had halted imports of Saab models into China and Russia.
Last October, the carmaker said that Saab plans for Chinese sales between 2,000 and 5,000 cars a year initially, and seeks to add local production to increase deliveries to 50,000. Saab spokesman Eric Geers said that there are plans to build cars in China in the long term.
Geers said that first, they have to bring up the volumes, then it should have dealers and demand should then increase. For a start, Saab will have around 10 dealers in China. Saab expects to complete the agreement with China Automobile Trading Co. in the first quarter.
China Automobile Trading Co., a state-owned company formed in 1993, has imported and sold over 100,000 cars, including from Volkswagen AG, Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co.
In 2008, Saab sold 860 cars in China. In October, Saab said it was in talks with several potential partners, including Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., which last December purchased technologies from Saab for about $200 million.