Max Warburton and his team. Warburton, of Bernstein Research, assembled a team to interview over 40 auto executives in China (both Chinese and foreign-born) and even bought two Chinese vehicles from Geely and Great Wall. Warburton had them shipped to Europe, where they were taken to a test track, driven extensively and then taken apart by engineers and automotive consultants. And it was far from pretty.
BAIC and Daimler announced last Friday they are taking the Beijing-Benz joint venture a giant step further. Daimler takes a 12 percent stake in BAIC and both parties will work closely together to win market share from Audi and BMW. On the ‘grass roots level’ the close cooperation has long begun! Above, a Beijing Auto E-Series with a Mercedes-Benz grille. How did that happen? (Read More…)
It was one of the worst-kept secrets: Two weeks ago, Reuters reporters had picked up the scent of Daimler planning a big investment into China’s BAIC. This week, rumors started flying around in Beijing that it is true. Today, Daimler announces, as expected, that “Daimler AG is going to invest in BAIC Motor, the passenger car unit of BAIC Group, one of the leading automotive companies in China.” (Read More…)
Now about those Benz-BAIC rumors: While Beijing is going gaga, Reuters has been suspiciously quiet about an upcoming deal between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC. Reuters, which has good ears and feet on the ground in China, had reported two weeks ago that something might be happening. Today, Reuters breaks its silence and says: (Read More…)
How do you beat the Dow? Occasionally, by reading TTAC. Yesterday, we wrote about Beijing rumors that Daimler and China’s BAIC are planning a big tie-up.
Hyundai, which has a flourishing and fast-growing joint venture with Beijing’s BAIC, is jumping on the bandwagon of fake Chinese brands. Probably not on Hyundai’s own volition, and probably with a lot of gentle urging by the Chinese government which thinks that the answer to China’s cluttered market is brands, brands, and more brands.
While Saab in Sweden is in the emergency room with wires and drips attached, Saab will be back from the dead at the Guangzhou Auto Show. This is when BAIC will show what they have produced from the Saab tooling that they had bought at fire-sale-prices when Saab had gone bust before. (Read More…)
Opel workers in Germany are getting increasingly frustrated and are banging the table. Rainer Einenkel, head of the works council in Bochum, today demanded that GM management in Detroit “immediately makes a clear and unambiguous statement, and to deny the plans of a sale without ifs and buts.” Rainel Einenkel writes on the website of the works council in Bochum that “ambiguous statements aren’t helpful, neither for the workers nor for our products.”
Yesterday, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel also demanded clarification from Detroit after the German newspaper Die Welt had written that China’s BAIC had made an offer for Opel. The paper said that GM’s board is tilting towards cutting Opel loose. On Thursday, Der Spiegel and Auto Bild had written that “GM is slowly wising up to the fact that the reasons that led to the planned Opel sale in 2009 have not changed.” Media reports said that GM CEO Dan Akerson is getting impatient.
Now, it seems, there is impatience all around.
In the meantime, I finally tracked down my former Opel executive who always had been a dependable source. (Read More…)
When “Beijing’s car industry” (read: BAIC) put forward the suggestion to exempt EVs from the license plate lottery, and when that suggestion was adopted, those in the know said: “Great idea, bad timing.” Why? There are no EVs one can buy in Beijing.“Beijing’s car industry” (read: BAIC) is about to change that. (Read More…)
When we reported last month that a strange assortment of Indian and Chinese truck builders is after the Italian design house and coach builder Pininfarina, we asked what you probably thought: “What do all these truck makers want to do with a company that designed Ferraris?” Now there’s a Chinese company that can put a hot design house to better use: Beijing’s BAIC. (Read More…)
Ah, there’s nothing like a good old Chinese catfight over a foreign joint venture partner. Daimler’s Chinese partner BAIC (they build the E-Class and C-Class in Beijing) became increasingly green-eyed watching Daimler playing footsie with up-start BYD. Now, BAIC is throwing a fit.
Gasgoo says that BAIC might withdraw from or delay its planned acquisition of Fujian Daimler, and this could frustrate Daimler’s partnership with BYD. Why is that? (Read More…)
We’ve mentioned that Beijing Auto (BAIC) showed a Saab 9-3 rebadge at the Beijing Auto Show, but we have thus far failed to highlight another re-style of a Western also-ran by the Chinese automaker. This C70 sedan is ostensibly an electric vehicle prototype, but under the skin it’s all Chrysler Sebring. BAIC built the unloved sedan for several years in China, and numerous reports indicate that this prototype has several Sebring attributes, including that rear door cutline and the transmission. Some have even gone as far as to suggest that the C70 somehow previews the look for the new Sebring-replacing Nassau, but that’s not likely. Still, it gives you an idea of what could be done with the Sebring… even by a relatively new Chinese firm.