Shanghai – Shanghai-GM and Saab Automobiles AB signed an agreement on July 6 in Shanghai allowing the former to become the general distributor of Saab vehicles in China.
According to the agreement, Shanghai-GM will be responsible for Saab’s operations in mainland China, including management of the brand, trademark, products, services, parts, sales and aftersales service.
“Shanghai-GM has really demonstrated their capability in the Chinese market with their existing wide brand portfolio, and they can help us expand the dealer network and know our customers better,” said Jan-Åke Jonsson, Saab managing director, who was on hand to sign the agreement. “China’s booming auto market, which has fueled strong demand for luxury cars, will enable it to be Saab’s key market.”
“The Saab nameplate will further enrich Shanghai-GM’s multi-brand strategy,” said Ding Lei, president of Shanghai-GM. “It will be involved in differentiated operations and management along with our three other major brands, namely Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac.”
Saab worldwide sales rose 11 percent in the first half of this year to 70,846 units, said Jonsson. Although no sales figures were released for China, Ding did indicate that Shanghai-GM hopes to double sales of the imported Saab vehicles annually, which currently stands at an estimated several hundred units, in the short term.
Since entry into China in 2002, the Swedish marquee under GM has been offering the 9-3, 9-3 Convertible and 9-5 sedans. The 9-5 Sports versions, including the Aero and the Arc, were unveiled at the signing ceremony and launched in late July.
Shanghai-GM, which is the first joint venture in China to be authorized to distribute imported cars, plans to increase the number of authorized Saab dealers from the current nine to 20 by year end.