Dutch sportscar maker Spyker Cars, which acquired Saab in February, has established a joint venture with China Automobile Trading Co. (CATC) for the import and distribution of its vehicles including luxury passenger cars and SUVs, as well as commercial vans, in China.
At this stage Spyker would only say that import numbers would be dependent on sales.
The venture will be 51% owned by CATC and 49% owned by Spyker and will include sales and aftersales service.
State-owned CATC already imports vehicles from GM but currently Shanghai GM, the joint venture between GM and SAIC, is responsible for Saab imports. That contract runs out at the end of this year, after which it could either be renewed with Shanghai GM or pass to CATC given the company’s ownership of the Saab brand. The contract could also potentially pass to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC), a state-owned carmaker, which purchased the rights to the previous generation Saab 9-5 and certain technologies from the current 9-3
A spokesman for Shanghai GM told Automotive Logistics News that the company was in discussion with Saab “and related parties” concerning the future of its business plans together in China. He said that, at present, Shanghai GM is carrying out customer services as usual.
“Shanghai GM is committed to supporting Saab and our customers. The level of sales will determine future network plans,” he said.
Since its establishment over 15 years ago CATC has imported and sold more than 50,000 vehicles for companies, including GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Toyota and Nissan.
GM reached a deal to sell Saab to Spyker for $74m (€52m) in cash and a further $326m in preferred shares which halted GM’s wind down of Saab operation.
The company has recently stated it is producing Saab cars at the rate of 1,000 per week since resuming production at the Trollhatten plant in Sweden in March.
GM continues to supply powertrain components for vehicles produced there.