Saab Chairman: Chinese-built cars will come to the U.S.


The next wave of import sis headed for the US, and it will most likely be through a distribution agreement with Saab.

“We laughed when the Japanese came,” said Victor Muller, chairman of Saab Automobile AB. “We laughed when the Koreans came. But we will not be laughing when the Chinese come. The Chinese are like a steamroller.”

Last week, Spyker Cars, which owns Saab, signed an agreement with China-based Hawtai Motor Group, by which a joint venture will be formed that includes manufacturing, technology, and Chinese distribution. Muller did not specify whether Saab will be distributing Hawtai’s vehicles in the US, but did say that Saab’s global distribution network will be tempting. Pending a separate agreement, the Chinese automaker’s cars will be distributed separately and under its own name.

“It took 67 years to build up our dealer network. It is the biggest asset not on our asset sheet, and these guys buy into it for free,” said Muller, who was interviewed during a press event in Washington, D.C. “If they make the proper cars, can you image how much simpler it will be to push product through the distribution network that is already there? It is like a railway network that is already there.”

Muller said that it is a possibility that Saab could be the distributor for a Chinese-built vehicle with a price tag in the $10,000 range.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News