Saab may have only just readied its new products for launch, but BAIC are already readying Saab’s old products for relaunch in China. We’ve already seen the C60 and C71 models in China, both of which are Saab 9-5 based sedans, but what else do BAIC have in store?
The C60 and C71 models have already been listed as being mid sized sports sedans that will launch next year. The C60 will get the smaller 2.0T engine that will produce 170bhp (125kw) at 5500rpm, where as the C71 will get teh larger 2.3T which will produce 209bhp at 5200rpm.
Other models include the BC802 sedan, which we have posted on CCT before as the T8 sedan. The BC802 was never shown at the Beijing Auto Show earleir this year, but pictures have leaked to the internet. The BC801 is based on the Chrysler 300C that BAIC used to produce with Chrysler, the C70 has been codenamed BC802, and the pure electric version, the C70EV, has been codenamed BC701.
Other plans for the Saab 9-3 platform include a compact SUV that has been codenamed BC506, and was on show in Beijing as the B61 SUV, as well as the compact SUV, BAIC are already preparing a Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze fighter that has been codenamed BC501. Another mid size SUV is being developed, this will be codenamed BU506 and will also be be based on the 9-3 platform, it is rumored that the 007 and B40 SUV models are based on the 9-3 platform.
Several years ago BAIC were being criticized from several quarters of the Chinese car industry as they had became a stale giant that was clearly only good for making cars with Hyundai and Mercedes, it was expected that another regional giant such as First Automotive Works would eventually swallow them under the governments automotive consolidation drive, but now it appears that BAIC have lifted themselves from the ashes with a strong plan to rebuild their shattered brand with a range of reasonably modern cars. FAW and Dongfeng, two state owned companies that have not entirely built their own brands to the successful levels of SAIC yet will be worrying over BAIC’s impressive plans for car building. Mr. Zhang Xin, the former head of Nanjing MG, is currently running the BAIC automotive resuscitation plan, along with some of his old Nanjing Auto sidekicks, there is no doubt that he will lead BAIC to success.