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It has styled some of the most memorable cars in history, including scores of Ferraris, but more recently the famed design house Pininfarina, has fallen on hard times. It’s been up for sale for several months, though now, might have a potential buyer, in the shape of Bejing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC).
Fueling the speculation that BAIC is in the process of a serious bid for Pininfarina, are quotes from a Chinese website (ee0.com) which said that an unnamed BAIC executive recently returned from Italy where he was in discussion with Pininfarina regarding collaboration on a new car based on the Saab 9-3.
BAIC currently owns the tooling, intellectual property and powertrain technology from the current Saab 9-3, which it purchased from General Motors and is already working on several new cars based on this platform, a new Pininfarina styled 9-3 could be one of them. If such a car does indeed materialize, it will probably make its debut at the 2011 Beijing Auto Show.
However, besides BAIC, that same media website (eeo.com), also reported that other Chinese firms, Anhui Jiangling and Brilliance, have also expressed interest in acquiring Pininfarina, along with India’s Mahindra and Canada’s Magna International. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
[Source: Inside Line]
After continued rumors that General Motors was still shopping-around its European Opel operations, it appears as though a new buyer has been found. RHJ International, a Belgian company has been cited as the latest bidder and apparently a tentative deal could be signed by the end of the week.
Initially Opel was slated to be sold to Canadian autoparts manufacturer Magna International, but those plans have hit several roadblocks. Magna’s deal did not guarantee the same amount of job protection to Opel’s German workforce and so it put in jeopardy a $2.1 billion loan from the German government. Additionally, GM was not excited about the prospect of handing over its technology so that Magna and Russian partners Sberbank and GAZ could use it to build vehicles for the Russian market.
The deal put forward by RHJ, on the other hand, is more likely to be attractive to the German government and GM would not have to fear competition in the Russian marketplace.
According to the Financial Times, however, the RHJ deal is more attractive because of one factor, the price. An initial bid by the holding company had GM sign an agreement with Magna instead, but apparently RHJ has now upped its offer.
According to the Financial Times, GM could sign tentative agreements with both companies, meaning that the sale of Opel to Magna is not completely out of the question.
One of the other Opel bidders, China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Corp., is also expected to make GM a more attractive offer in the near future.
So it looks like Opel is in hot demand and GM is back in the driver’s seat as it looks to get the most for its European operations and emerge from bankruptcy in the best financial state possible.
[Source: Automotive News]