Maintaining a presence in China is vital for any automaker these days, even more so for a company like Saab that is struggling to make a comeback after almost going down this year. The Swedish automaker signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China Automobile Trading Co. LTD (CATC), which will allow the firm to re-enter the Chinese market after a three-year hiatus, as Saab's previous owner, General Motors, had pulled the brand out of China in 2008.
Under the agreement, the Beijing-based and government-owned CATC will assume responsibility for the import of Saab vehicles and spare parts for the Chinese market. Saab said that a contract sealing the deal is expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2011, with official sales starting in July 2011. The Swedish firm plans to start with a small network initially
Announcing the agreement, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson said: “This agreement is vital for Saab, as it will be the foundation to develop a stronger presence in what is now the largest car market in the world. I am confident that CATC will prove to be the perfect partner for us as we revamp our sales activities in the Chinese market."
“Saab sees strong sales potential in China and we are confident that our product offering will be attractive to both existing and new customers in the market. We look forward to re-establishing the Saab brand in China next year with exciting new products like the new 9-5 Sedan and the 9-4X crossover vehicle.”