This week, the Saab signs were dismantled at the factory entrance. The End of an Epoch ... One of the logos will find its place at the Saab Museum. From now on, it will be up to NEVS to decide whether to make something out of the Saab DNA at the historic site despite abandoning the brand name.
The possibilities are there, and the coming months and years will make us smarter. If in the distant future the first, new vehicle from NEVS will be on the market, we can judge. But there is another company that deals with the Saab heritage. And it is the right time, right now, when in Trollhättan the lettering disappears to look at China.
BAIC and the Saab DNA
BAIC acquired 2009 rights to the Saab engines, the Saab 9-3 sedan and the old 9-5 generation. 2011 was about to take over Saab Automobile, but failed to Victor Muller. Since then, the BAIC brand Senova in China plays a clever game with the Saab heritage. In commercials flying Saab Jets, the Swedish roots and the Ursaab play a role. The Nightpanel is experiencing a comeback at BAIC, Saab turbo engines are driving off-road vehicles, SUVs and sedans.
BAIC has also been available in Germany since the summer of this year. A company from Landstuhl has started importing and the first shipment of Senova / BAIC new cars has already been sold to German customers. The next ocean freight from China is on its way, a dealer network is emerging, it is a story that is at the very beginning - and that is interesting.
Reservations against Chinese cars
For two reasons. How much Saab is in a BAIC? And how good are vehicles from China today? I remember several Chinese manufacturers who dared to go to the IAA. On the first day of the fair, the cars were released for inspection. The doors were closed the following day and all other days. Because the interiors decomposed themselves, and because material fumes had caused a hallucinogenic effect on the visitors.
With all my prejudices carefully collected over many years against Chinese vehicles, I traveled to the importer's warehouse this week. Of course with Anna, our blog company car, a symbol of Swedish engineering. I was not alone, a good friend was there. I asked for it because it was supposed to help me find an objective judgment.
For our readers, we drove two vehicles from BAIC. One with and one without Saab engine. What we experienced is equally disturbing and revealing. Reading the blog is especially worthwhile in the coming week.