Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Group is planning to fast track its global expansion and is looking to buy a US automaker in order to do so.
The company announced plans announced last year that it was looking to purchase a European car maker, though with no movement on that front it is now also considering purchasing a “mid to high-end brand” in North America as well.
While no automaker names were announced, Dong Haiyang, the head of Beijing Auto’s international expansion plans, has said the company already has several brands in mind. “We have candidates,” he said.
Beijing Auto, which sells cars under the BAIC brand in China, purchased Saab three years ago from General Motors.
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The move is seen as a shortcut to becoming a global player in the auto industry. Rather than developing technologies, building a brand and earning consumer loyalty over decades, it can simply buy its way into the industry.
While rumors of Chinese automakers expanding into America have arisen in the past, there’s a new urgency to do so now, with increasing competition between the big players in China, not to mention struggling automakers in Europe.
In fact, rival Chinese automaker Dongfeng recently acquired a 14 percent stake in French carmaker PSA/Peugeot-Citroen while China’s Geely has purchased Volvo from Ford during the great recession.
[Source: Automotive News]