According to Autoblog.nl, Saab and Chinese automaker Hawtai have agreed to join forces. Details are yet unclear. There will be a press conference in Beijing starting 15:30 local time. Saab’s CEO, Victor Muller and Hawtai Auto’s CEO Mr. Richard Zhang will be there to announce the deal.
About the name of Saab’s new partner: Huatai is the Chinese name, Hawtai the English-international name. Both names are used at the same time, just like Rongwei/Roewe, Qirui/Chery and so on. Before 2009 Huatai simply used Huatai as its international name.
More as we get it. Backgrounder on Huatai/Hawtai:Hawtai was founded in 2000 and started making small SUV’s. From 2002 until 2010 Huatai had a joint venture with Hyundai to make the Santa Fe and Terracan for the Chinese market. After the joint venture ended Hawtai continued to produce both cars under its own name, licensed by Hyundai.
In 2010 Hawtai surprised with three new self designed cars at the Beijing Auto Show; the B11, B21 and B35 SUV. The B11 has been listed in December 2010, the B35 changed its name to Baolige and will be listed in June and the B21 will follow before the end of the year.
Hawtai is based in Beijing.