In Sweden nothing seems to be in the towel, and much is still open. This is our knowledge of the last days and with this we are not alone. Still not over the discussion seems, who may build the Saab 9-3. Although, according to the NEVS press release, the rights for the current 9-3 have been sold to the consortium.
But the contracts are only preliminary and we don't know the final version. BAIC is now in the press again. According to an article in the Shanghai Securities Daily, the Chinese manufacturer believes that it has the sole rights. According to board member Xu Heyi, the legal situation is as follows: According to the contract, BAIC has the sole rights to the Saab 9-5 of the first series and to the Saab 9-3 before the facelift 2006. The rights to the current Saab 9-3 are the same Share at Saab and BAIC. According to Xu Heyi, the contracts are.
The possibility of transferring these rights to a third party was only possible in a common agreement. No sale would be possible without a joint decision. The administrators could not sell rights. "Saab has nothing but its name and logo ..." Xu Heyi told the press. And as we know, not even that. The discussion about the allocation of trademark rights is still ongoing.
This brings some clarity in the contract design, about the little was known and provided the reason for speculation. The question then is who 2009 negotiated these contracts for Saab. At least, we get an idea of the difficulties that administrators and potential buyers have to overcome, and we get a sense of why the process takes so long. That the rebuilding of the current 9-3 for the continuation of the brand, even if only as a bridge model, plays a role, confirmed.
The new BAIC C70, based on the Saab 9-5, and the BAIC C60, which is based on the 9-3, are approaching production maturity. For BAIC, the C70 is a prestigious project, with which the manufacturer from the capital wants to score points against European limousines in the upper market segment. An SUV on Saab basis is also in planning.
A Swedish friend with whom I spoke about the problem today sees the situation as relaxed. “Stay cool, he says…” A Saab buyer who starts production again in Trollhättan will not be impressed by BAIC. Because the reservations are only really relevant if you want to export vehicles to China. This cannot be assumed, because it would be more important to revitalize the traditional Saab markets in Europe and North America in the first step. If the homework is done, which will take some time, then the next Saab generation can venture into China, he estimates.
So much noise for nothing? In any case, another complication to continue the brand and even more work for the administrators.
Image: Saab Automobile AB