Saab Automobile just marked another important corporate milestone today when they announced that an import agreement for their vehicles to enter China’s market has been signed with China Automobile Trading Co. LTD (CATC). This means that an existing memorandum of understanding (MOU), accomplished and announced in December 2010 with CATC, is now an official trade contract.
The agreement terms state that the CATC will act as Saab’s representative in facilitating the importation of Saab cars to China. A Saab national sales company in China will be set up. Afterwards, actual sales are projected to begin in September 2011.
CATC’s role is specifically to act officially as Saab China’s import arrangement coordinator, although over time, they will also become responsible for distribution and after-sales service – roles that are still currently being fulfilled by Shanghai GM. Saab China is expected to manage a network consisting of about ten dealers.
During the announcement, Jan Ake Jonsson, Saab Automobile CEO said that the CATC import agreement represents Saab Automobile’s commitment to renew their brand’s presence in mainland China. “I am confident that CATC will prove to be an exceptional partner for us in this highly important market.”
He adds that the company forecasts robust sales in what has become the world’s biggest automobile market because of the desirability of their vehicles to Chinese motorists. The introduction of the newest cars such as the 9-5 and 9-4X crossover, gives Saab the confidence to take advantage of the demand they anticipate in China for their vehicles that are known for prestige, performance and quality.
China Automobile Trading Co., Ltd. Chairman and President Ding Hongxiang stated that they are very happy to fulfil their role to ensure the renowned Saab brand’s revival in China. With the high-end vehicle market growing strongly in the last few years (featuring up to a triple-digit increase for the different manufacturers), new Saab vehicle lines “meet[s] the demands of Chinese customers and serve[s] key segments of the market, with both the 9-4X in the fast growing cross-over segment and the 9-5 showing great potential."