Oh Deer: BAIC Walks From Opel, Saab and Volvo Deals

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

China Business News [via Gasgoo] reports that Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC) is miffed. They’re walking from any Opel, Saab and Volvo deals. BAIC will not engage in more talks— for the time being. China Business Daily claims to have a source on the inside.

The source told the newspaper that BAIC will not hold any talks anymore “because the foreign automakers are not really interested.”

The deep throat said, “BAIC did hold a brief talks with Opel, but with our bid arriving late and German’s government’s pressing on a Magna deal, BAIC’s acquisition of Opel becomes an unlikely outcome.”

Saab said it wants to avoid competition with the same range of GM models in the Chinese market.

Volvo does not want to sell its brand or transfer its production to China.

With Opel probably going to Magna, and Reuters reporting that Saab will probably ink the deal with Koenigsegg this week, Volvo remained the only open matter. For now all deals are off. At least for the time being and at least as far as BAIC is concerned. As one Chinese hunter says to the other: “Hai Bu Zhi Dao Lu Si Shui Shou ne.” You never know who will finally kill the deer. Especially if it’s lost on a country road.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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4 of 7 comments
  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Jun 16, 2009

    aren't they sick of being the 'suitor of last resort'? i like merkel's comment how she would toss Opel to the wolves (Chinese) if Magna couldn't hammer out a deal like rodney dangerfield, china can't get no respect despite holding all the duckets I think also maybe China realise that the bloodletting isn't over... who knows what things will be like 18 months down the track? if Farago is correct all this is is rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic... perhaps we will see even more upheaval in a year or two down the track

  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Jun 16, 2009

    They're waiting for prices to drop. The real deals have yet to be made.

  • Ffdr4 Ffdr4 on Jun 16, 2009

    I think the Chinese where looking for something on the cheap from desperate auto companies. They where "shocked" by the going price of what was available. They'll be back down the road.

  • U mad scientist U mad scientist on Jun 16, 2009
    I think the Chinese where looking for something on the cheap from desperate auto companies. They where “shocked” by the going price of what was available. This makes sense. They were looking for stuff that cost millions, not billions. For millions, they mostly wanted a well recognized brand, some dealers, maybe some addition technical/internal management expertise, and hell why not some physical assets. Even if a spearhead into the foreign market doesn't quite work out, they still have marketing value domestically to show for it. For billions, we're talking a huge commitment to make this work overseas, in situ; it's a money gamble that is not really any better than try doing it yourself progressively.