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November 26, 2009

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Home » Business » Auto

Saab deal hits bump

The Chinese auto maker that had joined with Koenigsegg Automotive AB in bidding to buy Saab said yesterday it regrets the Swedish luxury sports car maker's decision to drop the deal and will reconsider its own stance.

Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings had agreed to take a minority stake in Saab as part of the financing deals for the bid by a consortium led by Koenigsegg to buy the Swedish car unit of General Motors Co.

In a statement, Beijing Auto said the deal's collapse was "regrettable."

"The path of internationalization and progressive development remains an important part of Beijing Auto's strategy," it said. "In view of Koenigsegg's withdrawal, we will carefully re-evaluate the project and make the appropriate arrangements," it added.

Koenigsegg said on Tuesday it had pulled out of the deal, in part because it was unable to agree with investors on how best to move the brand from mass-market to premium.

The news was a blow to GM's efforts to keep the Saab brand alive while it focuses on its four core brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.

It was unclear if any other investors, including Beijing Auto, would attempt to take Koenigsegg's place.

A deal for Chinese manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp to buy Hummer is awaiting for approval by the United States and China.

China's Geely Group's bid for Swedish auto maker Volvo Cars, which is owned by Ford Motor Co, has not yet been completed.


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