BAIC Releases Its First Saab-Based Vehicle image

Beijing Automotive Group began selling the Senova, its first sedan which is based on Saab technology.

The Senova sedan is fitted with a 2.0-liter engine and has a 139,800 yuan (about 17,530 euro) starting price. This is Beijing Automotive Group’s first vehicle that was developed based on the technology purchased from Saab Automobile in 2009, but also the automaker’s first self-developed medium- to high-end model vehicle, according to Han Yonggui, president of BAIC Motor.

BAIC said it aims at creating ‘world-class’ vehicles by 2025, therefore it added to its team designer Leonardo Fiorvanati whose job is to improve the brand’s appeal. The automakers seeks an IPO in Hong Kong this year, which will help the company boost its vehicle sales by more than 70% by 2015 from a goal of 2.1 million units by the end of this year, according to Chairman Xu Heyi.

“Adding the Senova to our product lineup will boost investors’ confidence,” Han said. “It will help our efforts” to sell shares in Hong Kong “in line with our schedule,” he said without giving a time frame.

BAIC also hired Nicolas Cage to be the brand’s ambassador and he will appear in a TV commercial this May, according to BAIC Motor. The automaker said that it chose the 49-year-old actor because he is well-known to the Chinese audiences, especially the 40-year-old targeted buyers.

“Cage will be our ambassador for the Senova D series that will hit the market soon,” said Alex Qu, a spokesman for the company.

Source: Automotive News Europe