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BAIC C71EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

BAIC C71EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

So, what's a 2009 Saab 9-5 worth to you? A more appropriate question may be, What's the 2009 Saab 9-5 worth to you? What about the previous-generation of the Saab 9-3? Apparently, those two vehicle platforms (plus one more unknown platform) along with "two engine technologies and two transmission systems" were worth about $200 million to Chinese automaker BAIC.

It seemed pretty obvious when we first heard that China's BAIC wanted Saab's tooling that it didn't want anything to do with purchasing the Swedish automaker's full monty. If BAIC wanted to be in the Saab business, clearly, it would have made overtures for more than just the retired tooling from the older versions of the 9-5 and 9-3. BAIC wants the cars and all the stuff that Saab made to make them, so as to have something else to sell in its home market. The rest of Saab, such as its Trollhatta

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.

If Billy Joel is right that only the good die young, the outgoing Saab 9-5 has been very, very bad. In automotive terms, the 9-5 is positively ancient, having first seen the light of day in 1997 and getting very little in the way of meaningful changes since that time.