Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC), announced as a minority partner in Koenigsegg's deal to purchase Saab from General Motors two months ago, plans to produce the Saab 9-5 on Chinese soil next year. The involvement of BAIC in the Saab transaction helps Koenigsegg close the deal and gives the Chinese company leverage to re-badge the previous-generation Saab 9-5 as its own or to simply expand the brand's existing reach within the country.
In September, Saab CEO Jan-Ake Jonsson told reporters he wanted to double the number of Chinese Saab dealers from 15 to 30, and that he had an interest in local Chinese production. "Beijing Auto is an opportunity for us to establish ourselves in the Chinese market with their experience," the CEO said. Under current plans, Saab imports all cars to China, where they're sold under the Shanghai General Motors network. Sales have been slow, but promoting the brand under the watchful eye of BAIC may help the brand gain traction in China's huge automotive market.