Chinese BAIC Automaker Interested in Buying Saab?
There may be hope for General Motors’ Saab subsidiary yet, as Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp. (BAIC) might be interested in buying the struggling Swedish brand.
After the collapse of the sale to Koenigsegg, GM said it remained hopeful that it could still find a buyer for the Swedish brand. BAIC indicated today it might be in the running.
“I would just say, ‘stay tuned a little longer,’” said Wang Dezong, CEO of BAIC, when asked if BAIC would consider approaching GM to buy Saab alone or as part of a consortium.
BAIC was originally part of the Koenigsegg consortium looking to acquire Saab. Now that Koenigsegg has dropped out, BAIC must decide its next move. The Chinese company has shown interest in Saab and could leverage the company’s assets in a move to go global, but says it must also wait for GM to make a decision on what to do with the brand
“I cannot control GM’s timetable,” said Wang. “I would just say we are very dynamic people and impatient people. We like to do things fast.”
One key issue seen in other Chinese companies’ attempts to acquire American-owned brands is intellectual property rights. Earlier this year, BAIC made an attempt to secure GM’s Opel brand as well, which, according to BAIC, was rejected because of concerns over patents and other intellectual property rights matters. GM, however, seems to have made progress on the matter as its sale of Hummer to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong is reportedly progressing on schedule.