RICK KRANZ

Saab adds new twist to an old China question

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.

Will cars assembled in China be sold in the United States?

I’ve lost track of how many times that question has been raised here at Automotive News. Well, here’s a new scenario to ponder.

It’s possible that Saab Automobile AB might become a global distributor for its new Chinese partner, China's Hawtai Motor Group. The small, privately owned company produces SUVs and a stylish new sedan called the B21. The B21 is about the same size as a Saab 9-3.

In an e-mail, Michele Tinson, communications chief at Saab Cars North America, said the agreement between Spyker Cars NV and Hawtai entails both production and distribution of Saab-brand vehicles in China. Spyker owns Saab.

“At this time the agreement does not include Saab Cars North America selling Hawtai vehicles in North America,” Tinson said. “However, Spyker would consider the possibility of such distribution, should a business case be presented formally by Hawtai.”

Stay tuned -- one day Saab might be distributing Chinese cars in the United States.

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