Yanase joins deal to sell Saab autos

Yanase & Co. will begin importing and marketing passenger cars built by Saab Automobile AB starting July 1, the two firms announced June 12.

Saab’s existing 65 outlets in Japan will be replaced by 187 Yanase outlets. Yanase will be in charge of importing Saab cars as well as handling sales and other services, according to Takahide Inayama, president of Yanase.

Although Saab’s sales in Japan have accounted for only a small portion of its global sales, its tie with Yanase’s sales network will help expand the number of vehicles it sells, said Sakari Ryopponen, Saab’s director for the Asia, Pacific and Middle East regions. Ryopponen also said Sweden-based Saab, which is 50 percent owned by General Motors, wants to boost its total global sales from the current 100,000 to 150,000 units within the next three years, with 25 percent to 30 percent of the total being within in the Asia-Pacific region. Yanase has been selling GM brands such as Opel, Cadillac and Chevrolet.