As we anxiously await the arrival of the 2011 Saab 9-5 (it has been more than a decade since we’ve seen an all-new 9-5, mind you), it seems the outgoing model may continue to have a life of its own in China, thanks to the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC).
BAIC, which recently helped fund the Koenigsegg purchase of Saab itself, is reportedly looking to utilize the 9-5’s design and tooling within China. Production of the current 9-5 is expected to cease in the next few weeks, and the equipment would otherwise be discarded.
The Chinese automaker could either build the car as-is (possibly with a few minute styling tweaks to differentiate it from the Saab), or use the underlying mechanicals to fashion an all-new model. Either way, it will likely use Saab’s aging turbocharged I-4, as the engine facility in Sweden responsible for assembling the engine closed earlier this year.
If the old 9-5 is passed on to BAIC, it wouldn’t be the first time an old design is sold to another company to produce. Several Rover designs were produced in China as MGs, and even the last-generation Chrysler Sebring is now built in Russia as the GAZ Volga Siber.