IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BAIC sabre rattling

Swedish media report from China that BAIC says that they, and not Hawtai, may have the right to produce the Saab 9-3 in China. To Shanghai Securities News an official of BAIC said the following about Saab and Hawtai:
- They got married too quickly. We had no time to react. If you look at the Saab 9-3, which they plan to manufacture in China, it is probably the Saab 9-3 model BAIC already bought from Saab.

BAIC is talking about the Saab 9-3 which they bought the rights to back in 2009. But this was the Saab 9-3 prior to 2004 (according to SvD, earlier we have heard that BAIC bought the pre-2006 Saab 9-3 technology) which was based on the GM Epsilon architecture. The technology of the later versions of the current Saab 9-3 is supposable owned by GM and can not be sold.

Saab and Hawtai on the other hand, have agreed to manufacturer the upcoming 9-3, which is to be based on Saab's own Phoenix architecture and is 100 percent owned by Saab.

Eric Geers from Saab tells TT that BAIC is mixing the pre-2004 Saab 9-3 with the upcoming Saab 9-3 replacement. According to Geers, BAIC bought the rights and technology to built a variant of the 9-3 that Saab built up to 2004

In other words, this was just a big misunderstanding.

At the same time sources also say that BAIC's CEO Wang Dazong wanted to buy all of Saab in April, but that was impossible since also Vladimir Antonov wants to become part owner and he is already entangled in Spyker and Saab through loans. But this claim as well as the claim that BAIC has the rights to produce the upcoming Saab 9-3, were dismissed by Victor Muller. But Muller does confirm that BAIC was part of the discussions, but not the final discussions when Saab was looking for a Chinese partner.