BAIC are Chinese, pronounced as in ‘bike’, well according to the local dealer in Bahrain that is…… and that is Motorcity! Motorcity (stop repeating yourself) is a branch of E.K. Kanoo who have several car dealerships on board and BAIC is relatively new to the Island, this being only the second model to be officially launched. This X65 is a bit different though since it wreaks of
something very Swedish. In fact, by all accounts this new BAIC X65 is a SAAB under the covers. Since the acquisition of SAAB core intellectual property in 2009, BAIC has obviously applied the technology and quality control into its development programme and now this SUV’s core parts, manufacturing and quality control system. As per the label; ‘The X65 offers leading technology with first-class performance, smart configuration and security configuration to meet consumer’s demand for a high-performance SUV’. We will have to see once we get time to do a test drive. Motorcity have not banged this BAIC on the market as a cheap Chinese alternative at all. In fact the starting price is just over 6 grand local money, so that is up in the $16,000 range, but it comes with a 5 year warranty. One would assume this shows dealer confidence since there are a lot of Chinese alternatives out and about at half that price. In fact the BAIC A1 is one of them and we saw the launch of that a few months earlier. By the way, BAIC have been making cars, or rather bits of them for about 56 years in China and it is only recently that they have branded their own models. Quite what a Chinese car looked like 56 years ago is something for the new ‘Top Gear‘ to delve into maybe.
Ok, tech talk out of the way,let’s get down to the media launch. What a surprise it was too. Whodoeswhat.tv got a personal call from the delightful Dina the Marketing Manager, who insisted that we attend a dinner at Bahrain’s poshest night spot like restaurant Bushido. On the orders of Dr Bijan Majidi apparently, he of General Managership of Motorcity and a splendid chap at that.. Well it was different to say the least. Just local scribes and photographers were invited and we witnessed a couple of BAIC X65 cars parked outside the plush restaurant entrance and not much else. A few words were spoken and off we went inside to relish the delights of what can be described as sort of an Eastern mix of dishes. Dr. Bijan said a few words and we tucked in. No pomp, no circumstance, just a very nice way to show their appreciation for all the media coverage in the past. Nice job if you can stand it.