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Report: Beijing Auto Hardly a Savior for Saab

Chinese automaker only interested in parts of Swedish brand to build previous-generation models for sale in China

 |  Dec 08 2009, 1:21 PM

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Yesterday’s positive news for the Saab faithful has once again been met with the grim reality of the Swedish automaker’s situation. Just 24 hours ago news emerged that China’s Beijing Auto (which supported the Koengisegg-led purchase of Saab) had secured $2.93 billion in loans from the Chinese government – which would presumably be used to purchase the European automaker in its entirety.

As positive as that news is, now word has emerged that Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Group (or BAIC) is only interested in certain Saab assets, such as tooling and technology. The Reuters source from which this information comes also said that BAIC is not interested in Saab’s manufacturing facilities in Trollhattan, Sweden.

Instead BAIC is interested in Saab’s old technology and is interested in selling the previous generation 9-3 and 9-5 models in China. Earlier reports had suggested that BAIC was scheduled to receive these assets in return for propping up the Koenigsegg purchase.

GM is still looking for a buyer for Saab but if one cannot be found this could very well be an untimely end to the Swedish automaker just as it prepares to launch its new flagship sedan, shown for the first time in North America just last week at the LA Auto Show (above).

[Source: Reuters1 and Reuters2]