Currently reading: Beijing Auto looking at 'European brand' takeover
Chinese Beijing Auto is looking to buy a European brand
1 min read
5 July 2013

Dong Haiyang, president of Beijing Automotive Group’s new international arm, claims the company is looking at acquiring an established European car maker.

Reports say that investment banks acting for Beijing Auto have zeroed in on three medium-size companies with “good brand image”. Haiyang says Beijing Auto wants to use an established brand’s European facilities to expand production. The company is also keen to pick up a brand with good heritage within Europe, thus tapping in to established customer bases.

While not revealing any names, Haiyang did admit that two companies are currently being 'investigated' by his team of reseachers.

Beijing Auto has previously bought the old Saab 9-5 platform, the 2003 9-3 platform and Saab’s venerable slant-four engines. The C51X SUV, which is based on the 9-3, will go on sale next year.


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Minor tweaks both simplify and improve the 9-3. Likeable, but lagging behind

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n50pap 6 July 2013

Surely Volvo's continued success is the exception?

The fact that Geely seems to have got it right with their takeover of Volvo would seem to be the exception.  I've spoken to dealers who are trying to shift, for example, Great Wall vehicles and they say it's a hard struggle.  Admittedly, it's only pick-ups at the moment that are in the range, but it may put them off spending money on bringing cars up to European spec if they languish in dealerships and don't attract paying customers.

Volvo do seem to be doing well, but they are still recognisably the Volvo brand.  If Geely do fall into the trap of bringing in Chinese models disguised as Volvos, drivers may not be prepared to pay a premium price for something that's Volvo in name only.

Beijing Auto may just get it right, although there seem to be very few that would be up for sale if they'd enjoyed recent success, or would offer the volumes or profits necessary to justify what would be quite a considerable investment.

Will86 6 July 2013


MattDoc, Volvo hasn't been harmed because Geely aren't, as of yet, bringing in Chinese made cars under the Volvo name. The brand still has a clear separate identity. The way I interpret the article above especially bits like this - 'Beijing Auto wants to use an established brand’s European facilities to expand production' - is that they want to start bringing in Chinese cars to Europe. Now if they keep the brands separate, it may work, though I can't see the buying public warming to them yet, but with comments like this - The company is also keen to pick up a brand with good heritage within Europe, thus tapping in to established customer bases' - I can't help but feel they are going to try sticking a European badge on what is a Chinese designed car. That would be damaging for both companies - it hasn't worked for MG yet, but at least with MG there wasn't another option.

artill 5 July 2013

They have zeroed in on 3

They have zeroed in on 3 companies and are investigating 2 of them. 

I assume PSA is one (or are they counting it as 2?). I cant think who the other(s) could be. Fiat is too big, and the Americans wouldnt let Chrysler go the Chinese. VW own almost everything else apart from Ford and Vauxhall/Opel. 

I cant see VW selling off a brand (Seat?) or Fiat selling Lancia. Renault are tied up with Nissan so surely too big.

Maybe they think GM would sell them the European arm?

I cant see any of it happening, but PSA must be the most likely to be a target for them. If it works like Volvo then it might be OK, if it works out as it did for SAAB and Rover then its bad news for everyone

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