BAIC-SAAB future plans in China


Beijing Auto has big plans for the Shenbao brand, called Senova in English. On the right side of the slide a bunch of old Saab cars and a Saab fighter jet.

Beijing Auto bought the rights to the Saab 9-3 and SAAB 9-5 from GM in 2009, and most of the Shenbao cars are based on these platforms.

Beijing Auto does not have the rights to the ‘Saab’ name but ‘Shenbao’ (绅宝) was the name Saab was using in China until 2009 when they changed to ‘Sabao’ (萨博).

The Shenbao D20 is the Beijing Auto E-series sedan, which will be brought under the Shenbao brand. The Shenbao D50 sedan was launched on the China car market in April. The Shenbao D60 sedan will be launched later this year. ‘D70′ is the new name for the Shenbao D-Series that was launched in May last year. The Shenbao D80 is a new large sedan that will be based on the platform of the Mercedes-Benz E Class L that is manufactured in China by the Beijing-Benz joint venture. The ‘SUV’ is the vehicle currently known as the ‘C51X’, it is expected to debut later this year on the Guangzhou Auto Show.

The ‘MPV’ is the only real surprise of the lot as we don’t know anything about it yet. It is scheduled for launch in 2016 but that platform is a mystery. The other cars: the D60 and D70 are surely Saab-based, the D50 and the SUV are possibly partly Saab-based, and the D20 is based on the old Smart ForFour.

Messy platform strategy might prove costly for supply and repairs, but the plans are exciting nonetheless. Furthermore, the D70 is selling very well and the D50 seems off to a good start. Beijing Auto might finally be on to something good.