Saab Automobile Signs Contract with CATC for China Import

-Saab Automobile and CATC formalize principle agreement on China import

-Sales expected to start in second half of 2011 after establishment of legal entity of Saab in China

-Major step to re-establish Saab brand in China as expansion of Saab sales network continues

Mar 25, 2011, 05:13 ET from Saab Automobile

TROLLHATTAN, Sweden, March 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In another milestone for the company, Saab Automobile today announced the formal signing of an agreement with China Automobile Trading Co. LTD (CATC) regarding the import of Saab vehicles for the Chinese market. The contract is the formalization of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CATC, which was signed and publicly announced in December 2010.

Under the agreement, CATC will, on behalf of Saab, import Saab cars to China. Official sales are expected to start in September 2011, after the establishment of a Saab national sales company. CATC will act as an official import service provider to this national sales company, which will eventually take over all distribution and after sales responsibilities from Shanghai GM, thus far responsible for Saab sales in China. Saab China will maintain a dealer network that is initially set to comprise around ten dealers.

Announcing the agreement, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ake Jonsson said: "Signing this agreement with CATC is another sign of Saab Automobile's determination to re-establish the Saab brand in China. I am confident that CATC will prove to be an exceptional partner for us in this highly important market.

"We see strong sales potential in what is now the largest car market in the world and we believe our cars will appeal to Chinese customers. With exciting new cars like the new Saab 9-5 and the Saab 9-4X crossover vehicle, Saab can tap demand for high-quality premium vehicles in the Chinese market."

Ding Hongxiang, Chairman and President of China Automobile Trading Co., Ltd., commented: "We are pleased to be a partner of Saab in facilitating the return of this iconic premium brand to China. The premium import segment has shown rapid growth in recent years, with double to triple digit increases for the various brands. The new Saab product line-up meets the demands of Chinese customers and serves key segments of the market, with both the 9-4X in the fast growing cross-over segment and the 9-5 showing great potential."

Note to Editors:

Saab, or Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft Company), was founded in 1937 as an aircraft manufacturer and revealed its first prototype passenger car 10 years later after the formation of the Saab Car Division. In 1990, Saab Automobile AB was created as a separate company, jointly owned by the Saab Scania Group and General Motors, and became a wholly-owned GM subsidiary in 2000. In February 2010, Spyker Cars N.V. of the Netherlands, acquired the company from GM as an independently-run business.

Saab cars reflect the brand's unique Scandinavian design ethic, which is fused with its aircraft engineering heritage. The company is a global premium car maker with a distinguished history of innovation. It is recognized for its pioneering role in turbocharging, as well as occupant safety and the introduction of flex-fuel technology through Saab BioPower.  Saab Automobile AB currently employs approximately 3,800 staff in Sweden, where it operates world-class production and technical development facilities at its headquarters in Trollhattan, 70 km north of Gothenburg.

SOURCE Saab Automobile