New China BAIC plant to make vehicles based on Saab tech

BEIJING, April 22 (Reuters) - China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) said on Thursday it is building a plant to make vehicles using technology it acquired from GM’s [GM.UL] Saab unit late last year.

The new plant will have annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles, said BAIC President Wang Dazong at an industry forum before the opening of the Beijing auto show, China’s largest.

BAIC, China’s fifth-largest automaker, purchased the design rights to several older Saab models late last year for about $200 million, after a group it was part of failed to reach a deal to buy the loss-making Swedish carmaker from GM.

After buying the rights, BAIC said it would immediately start integrating the technology into its own vehicles, with commercial production for Saab-based cars to begin as soon as 2011. [ID:nTOE5BG06R]

Reporting by Fang Yan, Michael Wei and Doug Young; Editing by Ken Wills