Outgoing Saab 9-5 could be heading to China
1 October 2009

The Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) is poised to buy the tooling and design rights to the outgoing Saab 9-5, according to Autocar sources.

BAIC recently became a minority shareholder in the Koenigsegg Group, which is attempting to buy Saab from General Motors.

If the plans go ahead, the 9-5 will be ‘shifted lock, stock and barrel’ to China. Production of the 9-5 estate is expected to end in the next few weeks.

There’s no news as to whether BAIC intends to re-start production of the 9-5 in an unchanged form or whether it will re-skin the car for sale under BAIC’s own brand.

Such moves by Chinese carmakers are increasingly common. Production of the Rover 75 and MG ZT was re-started in China after MG Rover collapsed and production of the Alfa Romeo 166 was moved to Guangzhou Auto last year.

The 9-5 is powered by Saab’s own long-running slant-four turbocharged petrol engine. The factory building this engine was wound-down earlier this year, making it another potential buy-out target for BAIC.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Shifting production of the defunct engine to China would be a much simpler operation than re-engineering the 9-5 to accommodate a new drivetrain.

Although Saab is racing to install the all-new 9-5 into its Trollhatten factory, the Koenigsegg Group has still not finalized its buyout deal with GM.

At the time of writing it is still negotiating a substantial loan with the European Investment Bank. GM has set a deadline of 31 December for its planned sell-off of Saab.

Hilton Holloway

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Saab reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
9

1 October 2009

All this talk of the old 9-5 being built in China when it's more than likely that some of the new 9-5 will be carried out by BAIC for Asian markets.

1 October 2009

Poor 9-5, isnt it time it was laid to rest? The design dates back to 1997 and its been facelifted 2 or 3 times now. Surely its a bit past its sell by date?

1 October 2009

Maybe but it would still achieve 4Stars with the latest NCAP tests.

1 October 2009

And, it would be better than anything else produced in China right now!

2 October 2009

[quote WooDz]

Maybe but it would still achieve 4Stars with the latest NCAP tests.
[/quote]Too true! And if you want proof that a 13 year old European car is 'safer' just Google Brilliance BS6 crash test. Scary

2 October 2009

Hoping they dont then ship it back to Europe and sell it as the all new 2010 'BAIC Shining Monkey' or something....

3 October 2009

[quote shortbread]Hoping they dont then ship it back to Europe and sell it as the all new 2010 'BAIC Shining Monkey' or something....[/quote]

That would be quite amusing if they did, can just imagine it now.

3 October 2009

[quote shortbread]

Hoping they dont then ship it back to Europe and sell it as the all new 2010 'BAIC Shining Monkey' or something....

[/quote]

At the right price (undercutting the Skoda Superb) and if they get the build quality right the estate would be a bloody good car.

6 October 2009

[quote tannedbaldhead]At the right price (undercutting the Skoda Superb) and if they get the build quality right the estate would be a bloody good car.[/quote]

No it really wouldn't. When it first came out it was good, but the design is very nearly 13 years old now so it would really need a radical make-over inside and out to seriousley compete with a modern rival.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week