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Beijing auto maker to unveil bid for Opel

Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co plans to present a detailed bid for General Motors Corp's Opel unit in Europe within the next few days, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese car maker held discussions with GM last week and is firming up details of an offer, the paper said.

Beijing Automotive currently only makes Mercedes-Benz and Accent cars in joint ventures with Daimler AG and South Korea's Hyundai Motor.

In Germany's Bild newspaper yesterday, Klaus Franz, head of the Opel works council, was quoted as saying that GM was playing a high-stakes game in a bid to improve the terms of the Opel disposal, telling the newspaper that he knew of no new offer.

That followed comments from Franz in the Wall Street Journal report, in which he expressed strong reservations about any sale to Beijing Automotive.

"They only want technology and have no experience in global auto production," the paper reported Franz as saying.

GM has been talking to other potential buyers for Opel as it worked through snags with preferred bidder the Canadian-Austrian auto parts group Magna International.

On Tuesday, a GM Europe spokesman confirmed that potential buyers for Opel includes Belgium-based holding company RHJ International and Beijing Automotive.

Meanwhile, Beijing Automotive told the Reuters news agency that it had no knowledge of the matter.


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