Saab has been in the news quite a bit lately, and mostly for the wrong reasons. But now that the Swedish automaker appears to have secured loans and buy-in from Hawtai Motors in China, Victor Muller and company are looking to go on the offensive.

Automotive News reports that the Spyker CEO is still talking China, but now he's entertaining the possibility of partnering with a Chinese company to distribute low-cost autos in the U.S. Muller reportedly says that Saab could utilize its dealer networks in the U.S. and Europe to sell $10,000 Chinese vehicles in two or three years. And just because Saab struck a deal with Hawtai doesn't mean that the Swedish automaker is restricting its plans to its newest strategic partner. Muller pointed out during an interview in Washington, D.C. that there are 120 companies in China, and that Saab is interested in "the one with a strategy."

There are many hurdles for Chinese automakers to overcome to finally breach the U.S. market, not the least of which is passing federal safety standards. Muller acknowledges that a five-star-rated Chinese vehicle likely won't happen any time soon, but he says that made-in-China SUVs can be had with tons of features for about $10,000, adding "Do you really worry about a five-star rating? They Look good."

Hmmm. We're guessing there will be plenty of buyers who don't want to drive a vehicle with compromised safety capabilities, but a low price tag could cure those fears. Of course, we also can't help but wonder how many luxury car shoppers will want to pay premium prices for Saab automobiles if they share showroom space with discount Chinese offerings – the Swedish automaker's residual values have been problematic enough as-is.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Saab to sell Chinese cars yeah right they can't even sell saabs
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like this is the end for Happy Gilmore...
      Digi City Police
      • 4 Years Ago
      if Chinese Cars are going to be sold here, They need to make DAMN SURE that they meet FMVSSs, or they will NOT be sold here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow. The bad judgement machine there keeps on humming I guess. There's a threshold where "inexpensive" becomes "cheap" and the line is labeled "made in China." At $10,000, a car has a paper-thin margin that would require gigantic volumes to sustain. Given the 5%+ rate of inflation in China at the moment, I doubt even their domestic market would keep a $10,000 vehicle viable, much less a limited-distribution (Saab dealers) US one. Besides, how many people even want a $10 grand sub-subcompact when the used market at that price point is loaded with top-brand choices? "Very few", I'd say. Which, coincidentally, is how many months I'd estimate Saab has left.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know they are desperate but this is a BAD move and will hurt SAAB in the end.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah.... this is kind of an insult. Safety is key for many people, including myself, and would gladly spend an extra 5k for a premium car with a 5-star rating. Saab use to be known for their safety - up there with Volvo and Mercedes.... what happened?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kiss Saab goodbye with this clown in charge...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. GM spent years devaluing the SAAB brand. Muller is working hard to totally devalue it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      $10,000 Chinese Cars = Set Sail for Fail! Anyone else exhausted by Saab's story? It seems like with each new article things get more depressing. I would like to see a strong Saab but man, what a mess!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This should do wonders for Saab's brand perception and resale values. Then again, any rational person would have realized that the Saab party was over and that it was time to wind things down back when a warmed over Trailblazer became their best seller in North America.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Do you really worry about a five-star rating?" Yes. Yes I do.
      • 4 Years Ago
      $10,000, adding "Do you really worry about a five-star rating? They Look good." Sure for a $10,000 coffin.
        4 String
        • 4 Years Ago
        The dumbest comment I've seen Muller make to date. I thought he'd be above a remark like that, but at the end of the day I guess he's just another salesman...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seriously Saab? Muller should be fired right now for even sugesting such a thing. Right now Saab should focus on itself and not trying to introduce new chinese cars into the American market. While yes not everyone looks out for a 5 star crash test rating, when a car only gets 1 or 2 yeah people care. If Saab doesnt get its ducks in a row very damn quickly I think the dealership I work at will quickly become a KIA one.
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