Beijing Automotive Group has said it plans to sell 400,000 units in markets outside of China by 2020. In order to accomplish this goal, the company intends to acquire a "medium-sized" European automaker with a good brand image for a takeover. Right now, Bloomberg indicates that BAIC has identified three unnamed potential candidates, and says that it wants to move while the European economy is still sluggish. Buying an existing automaker makes sense, as doing so will allow BAIC to hit the ground running with existing manufacturing and dealer networks.

This isn't the first time Beijing Auto has turned out of country. The company's Senova sedan (shown above with spokesman Nicolas Cage) is built on technology purchased from Saab back in 2009, and at one point, BAIC was rumored to be interested in buying the now-dead Swedish brand back before it declared bankruptcy. Beijing Auto currently builds vehicles with Daimler and Hyundai in China.

The Chinese automaker aims to sell 2.1 million units this year, but wants to expand production by 70 percent by 2015. BAIC also wants to build a "world-class" vehicle by 2025. The company recently hired Ferrari designer Leonardo Fioravanti to help craft its image. Analysts predict the company will make an initial public offering in Hong Kong this year.


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  • 45 Comments
      timber
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they want brands there's plenty of choice. VW would probably sell them SEAT, FIAT would sell Lancia. I doubt GM would sell Opel, they might just sell the brand but I doubt the Chinese would be happy with just a nameplate. If they want a full auto maker PSA is probably their only choice. The French government would probably get in their way as much as possible.
      marc.mitchell
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a joke, right?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      leeds.tao
      • 1 Year Ago
      Skoda has been made in china under joint venture with SAIC. No way they will buy a brand from their competitor. Also doubt the SEAT, VW already has two joint ventures in china. No one want to buy the third model with same platform. Lancia is possible. Good history, medium size and Fiat need money to finish Chrysler case.
        Bogie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @leeds.tao
        Ya, but Lancia is all running on newer platforms from Fiat/Chrysler. I think the price to buy the IP for all the underpinnings would be too high. You'd have Chrysler's minivan and 300 platform along with Fiat's 500 platform.
      Tstag
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lotus may be the obvious brand. Well known brand, no large UK factory to support. Lots of potential....
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW perhaps?
        blu3bullet89
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Hah? BMW is the largest premium manufacturer in the world with major profits.... Beijing Auto couldn't afford BMW as a group. There really aren't too many medium sized European brands to buy that aren't already a part of a large group.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Opel, Lancia & Seat
        Pdexter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Teleny411
        Not bad list actually. Opel out of those is the most complicated as it has such a strong R&D. Seat is owned by VW, VW is far from firesellin Seat. Lancia, meh. Hard to say what they mean with midsize. Peugeot, Citroen are too big and ze Germans are doing great.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        AngeloD
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Reggie God bless her. The UK is much better off today than if it was still subsidizing British Motor Cars, or British Leyland, or whatever the hell it was named at the end. I had about as much luck with my 70's era Austin as John Cleese did with his in that Fawltey Towers t.v. show.
          JaredN
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AngeloD
          Bill: Actually, the UK is buying F-35s from the US for its carrier aircraft. They don't have any French aircraft for carriers (Rafale) nor do they have any on order. They are collaborating with France on the development of their next aircraft carriers. The UK is a partner in the development of the Typhoon, which is one of the most technologically advanced fighters currently in service.
          billfrombuckhead
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AngeloD
          The UK standard of living is among the lowest in Europe with the most poverty and it's become so technologically inept that they have to use the French Navy to provide fighter planes for the UK's aircraft carriers. BTW, Hyundai/Kia are state subsidized as is VW and then there's JapanInc and the Chinese People's Liberation army. Almost all car makers are "Government Motors" and have been for quite sometime. http://washingtonpolicywatch.org/2010/03/15/myth-6-europe-has-a-lower-standard-of-living-than-the-united-states/
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AngeloD
          [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lots of talk about well-known brands in western Europe. Maybe AutoVAZ is a possibility. I really doubt PSA, Renault, VW or Fiat would be willing to sell brands. I think the other best options would be Opel, Lancia, or Skoda. I don't think GM would want to give up any IP with Opel -- on the other hand, that didn't stop them with Saab or Hummer. I'm sure Saab is available for the right price -- but it's also a terrible investment.
        DeathKnoT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        Renault Nissan already owns a significant stake of AutoVAZ.
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        Opel - highly unlikely to be sold off. Skoda - even more unlikely. Lancia - there have been more than a few rumblings, however previous rumours have fizzled into nothing.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Perhaps Opel?
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