Saab has signed a binding agreement with Chinese carmaker Youngman to develop three new models, including the long-discussed 9-1 entry-level model, a large ‘9-6x’ SUV and the large executive ‘9-7’ saloon.
Youngman and Pang Da, the Chinese distributor and dealer network, will invest a total of £221m in the deal which will see the cars designed, engineered and developed by Saab at its Trollhattan HQ. The models are expected to be built in China by Youngman, but the deal still depends on "regulatory approvals" both in China and Europe.
The 9-6 and 9-7 will be based on Saab’s new scaleable Phoenix platform which, according to insiders can be stretched as far as 5.4m in length. It’s not clear which market niche the finalised 9-1 will fit into but if it is also Phoenix-based, which now seems likely, it will be around 4.2m long, making it a direct competitor for BMW’s upcoming front-drive hatchback.
Victor Muller, CEO of Swedish Automobile N.V. and Saab Automobile said: "I am pleased to announce the signing of binding agreements (subject to obtaining regulatory approvals) with Pang Da and Youngman, as it underlines the confidence of all parties in a successful tripartite partnership."