Beijing Auto may bid for Saab after Opel deal fails image

Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC), the local partner of Germany’s Daimler in China, may bid for General Motors’ Saab unit after its attempt to acquire Opel looks unlikely to succeed, an unnamed market source was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying on Monday.

The source said the Chinese government has intimated that it would support domestic automakers to acquire oversea assets.

Saab’s chief executive, Jan-Ake Jonsson, said last week that his company is negotiating with just two potential buyers, with a letter of intent with a “serious buyer” ready before mid-June.

BAIC has hold talks with German government officials on a possible takeover of Opel last week, but was rejected in favor of an offer by Canada’s Magna International Inc and Russia’s Sberbank.

GM, which is operating under bankruptcy protection, is restructuring by selling off its Saturn, Hummer and Saab units. It reached a tentative deal to sell its Saturn brand to auto racing magnate Roger Penske, and agreed to sell the Hummer brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co recently.