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Saab Returns to Mexico, China, and Russia in 2011

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On: Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 3:27PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Saab Returns to Mexico, China, and Russia in 2011

Saab Automobile, the Swedish carmaker owned by Spyker Cars NV, plans to start selling cars in China, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico in the first half of next year, according to SAAB sales chief, Adrian Hallmark. Saab is negotiating with potential distributers in the four countries and has set a goal to reach agreements by the end of the year, Hallmark said late yesterday.

"In the next two years the new markets will not materially change our performance volume-wise, but in the next five years I believe they will fundamentally change our performance,” Hallmark said. The export of Saab to China and Russia was put on hold during the economic crisis in 2008 and recently Saab has decided to revisit plans for exporting its vehicels to foriegn markets again.

Hallmark stated that Saab “intends to become profitable by 2012. While the company is now focusing on re-establishing itself in the U.S. and Europe, growth markets such as China will be key to its long-term success.”

Saab is now planning to take on numerous potential partners including Beijing Automotive Holding Co., which purchased technologies from Saab for about $200 million. Saab is currently seeking a distribution deal in China, and next year it may study whether local production would be possible.
“If we only import cars to China I think we can sell 2,000 to 5,000 cars a year,” Hallmark remarked. “If we build cars in China it could be 50,000-plus cars per year.”

Saab sold 860 cars in China in 2008 which was the last year it had a presence there. In Russia, Saab is holding discussions with four candidates, while in Brazil and Mexico it’s talking to a total of 15 companies, said Hallmark. Saab also plans to enter the Indian market in the second half of 2011.

The key to expanding sales in these markets will be Saab’s new 9-3 model, a mid-sized sedan scheduled for release in 2012.
“Until the end 2012 we want to get started, get the right business partners, and then have a real growth strategy based around the launch of the new car,” Hallmark said.


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