American actor, producer and director Nicholas Cage can add another line to his resume: brand ambassador. Following in the footsteps of Brad Pitt, the face of Cadillac vehicles in China, the oft-controversial and occasionally IRS-investigated Cage has signed up to flog re-badged Saabs for China's Beijing Automotive Industry Corp.
On the face of it, Cage's decision to explore foreign markets for his talents makes sense. The actor's perceived overexposure in the United States is in some ways a consequence of his well-publicized troubles with the IRS, who first dinged him with multimillion dollar unpaid tax liens in the summer of 2009.
Though he was one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors at the time (Cage earned $40 million in 2009 according to Forbes Magazine), a succession of domestic issues, lawsuits and foreclosures put the squeeze on Cage's high-flying lifestyle in a serious way. The need to jump-start his cash flow forced Cage to accept a number of questionable acting roles (Wicker Man, the Ghost Rider series, etc.) which have put a dent in his celebrity cachet at best, made him an Internet meme at worst.
Obviously it was time for Cage to get out of Dodge, so to speak, and fortuitously for him a new frontier was beckoning: China. While Nicholas Cage isn't exactly unknown in the Far East, he's not overly known either. To quote his new bosses at Beijing Automotive Industry Corp., or BAIC for short, Cage was chosen to represent their vehicles due to his “down to earth attitude mixed with high levels of success.”
Though financial particulars of Cage's deal with BAIC haven't been announced, the actor was gifted with a spanking-new Senova D sedan much like the one he's seen to be driving in a new, Olivier Megaton-directed video. Presumably the car doesn't fill with bees during the chase scene, though that's one scene we'd pay megabucks to see!
As for the Senova D (does that sound like a laxative, or what?) four-door sedan, BAIC's highly anticipated new ride is essentially a Chinese-engineered update of the 2010 Saab 9-5 powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Not exactly Cadillac-level transportation but hey, Nicholas Cage isn't exactly a Brad Pitt-level actor. (via China Car Times, AutoBlog, and N-TV)