China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC) has expressed an interest in buying a stake in Opel together with the rest of General Motors’ European operations.
Reports in the Financial Times newspaper suggest the Chinese car maker expressed an interest in Opel to Commerzbank’s Dresdner Kleinwort unit, which is advising GM on the stake sale.
However, the approach was made on Thursday - a day after a bidding deadline passed.
As a result, BAIC’s offer is being viewed as an expression of interest rather than a formal bid, and is only likely to progress should the firm bids fall through. Italy’s Fiat, Canadian-Austrian Magna, and Brussels-listed RHJ International all entered bids for Opel on Wednesday, for which GM is seeking about €650m (£600m)
BAIC is one of China’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, and manufactures Hyundai passenger cars in a joint venture with the Korean carmaker.
It is reported to be primarily interested in importing Opel cars or technology to China, where it would compete with GM, one of the country’s largest car makers.