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'Chinese Saabs' soon to hit showrooms: report

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'Chinese Saabs' soon to hit showrooms: report
12:38 CEST+02:00
The Chinese version of the old Swedish Saab 9-5 has come far enough in development that manufacturers are saying it will make the cardealerships' floors at the end of the year.

Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corporation, BAIC, part of Beijing Automotive Group, is planning to start selling its first model based on the old Saab 9-5 platform purchased from Saab Autmobile AB in 2009 at the end of the year, according to the China Automotive News.

The car, which is known as C709, is fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine.

According to China Automotive News, BAIC plans to launch a complete product line-up based on the Saab 9-5 platform, which was purchased from Saab in 2009, over the next few years. The pricing for the new car has not yet been revealed.

BAIC also bought the platform for the Saab 9-3 and the company has previously said that the Chinese model T60, which is based on the platform will be produced during the second quarter in 2012.

BAIC is owned by the Chinese state and has its headquarters in Beijing.

The company has several Chinese manufacturers and shares its production with Korean Hyundai and German Daimler.

As late as last weekend, Saab enthusiasts collected funds to purchase the last remaining Saab 9-3 manufactured in the now defunct Saab factory in Trollhättan in western Sweden.

Saab Automobile petitioned for bankruptcy in the Swedish courts in December 2011 following along process which resulted in the failure of a Chinese consortium to complete a takeover.

India's Mahindra and Mahindra, and China's Youngman, are the latest Asian firms to be linked with a prospective buyout of the loss-making Swedish firm.

TT/Rebecca Martin


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