China Buyout Watch: SAIC Sets Sights On Saturn
It’s high time to start a new TTAC category: China Buyout Watch. It’s good for at least a post a day. The latest: “SAIC is likely to be the potential buyer of Saturn,” says Gasgoo after reading the print edition of China Automotive Review. They cite an email letter that has told Saturn dealers that interested buyers were ready to buy Saturn. A Detroit-area dealer for Dodge and Saturn said GM was seeking buyers in China. According to the report, GM tries to package Saturn and Hummer together. A price has not been named.
After last night’s Congress cruelty, there might be government help after all. From the Chinese government. In China, the interest of Chinese automakers has grown far beyond the rumor stage. Today, government-controlled China Daily (THE English speaking news outlet for the official party-line) runs a long article on the Chinese aspirations to snap up juicy bits of Detroit. Actually, as China Daily sees it, it’s Detroit that’s making the advances to China. The headline says it all: “Big 3 look for Chinese medicine.”
After issuing the appropriate CYA cautionary notes, as in “Chinese companies should exercise caution when it comes to acquiring US assets,” China Daily lists a virtual speed-dating session between Chinese and Detroit automakers …
“Chang’an Auto is believed to be in talks with Ford for taking over the Swedish luxury brand Volvo.”
“UK’s Mail had earlier reported that Ford might sell Volvo to SAIC Motor Corp, China’s biggest automaker.”
“There were also reports yesterday that Chery intends to buy assets from Chrysler, with the help of a 10 billion yuan loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.”
“Dongfeng Motor Corp, China’s third biggest carmaker, was also reported last month to be considering asset buys from General Motors Corp.”
Folks, take my word for it: If China Daily writes something like this, then the matter is way beyond the idle chatter stage. There will be denials, or milquetoast “no comments,” but if it’s in China Daily, something is definitely in the bush.
By the way, the China Daily Group also owns the 21st Century Business Herald, which first broke the story last month that Chinese automakers are interested in taking over assets of GM and Chrysler. For a behind the scenes account of China Daily, go to the blog appropriately titled “Leaking State Secrets.”
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