Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) has purchased equipment and intellectual property rights to some of Saab’s fleet for 1.4 billion crowns (AUD$217 million), according to Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.
The deal sees all rights of the outgoing 9-5 shifting to BAIC, including production infrastructure from Saab’s Trollhatten plant in Sweden, as well as engine and transmission technology from the 9-3.
Saab managing director, Jan-Åke Jonsson, said the deal was “excellent for both parties”.
“We have developed a good relationship with BAIC and look forward to working with them to integrate this Saab technology into their future vehicles,” he said.
The Chinese company echoed Jonsson’s sentiments:
“The deal is an important milestone in BAIC’s cooperation with Saab.
“It has laid a fairly good foundation for the two sides to further explore win-win cooperation,” it said in a statement.
Saab insisted that the new 9-5 – based on the Opel Insignia platform and unveiled at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show – was not part of the deal, and it confirmed production and marketing of the current 9-3 would not be interrupted.
The money, transferred last Friday, is expected to be enough to keep Saab going for three months, relieving some of the pressure as GM tries to find a buyer before the end of the year.
Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker is still believed to be the front runner to take over the battling Swedish brand.
Spyker CEO, Victor Muller, described the deal to offload old assets and equipment onto BAIC as “good news” for both his company and Saab.
Despite the technology being old, BAIC now has the opportunity to produce cars under its own brand name, something that most Chinese automotive groups have been doing for years.