Beijing Automotive targets European automakers for a potential takeover, part of its plan to increase its international business.
Dong Haiyang, president of the company’s newly established BAIC International Development, said that banks have found three medium-sized car maker in Europe, with a ‘good brand image.’
“We want to acquire such mid-sized brands in Europe while the economy is sluggish so we can use their facilities as a production base to expand there,” Dong said at a press conference on Saturday, June 22nd.
Beijing Auto already manufactured vehicles in partnership with Hyundai and Daimler in China and the automaker aims at reaching a profit of 2.5 billion yuan ($408 million) from abroad and vehicle sales of 400,000 units by 2020. BAIC, who plans to build ‘world-class’ vehicles by 2025, has hired Ferrari designer Leonardo Fioravanti to help the brand improve its appeal.
“We will do everything in our power to explore overseas markets,” Beijing Auto Chairman Xu Heyi said on Saturday. “Establishment of this unit puts us at a new historical threshold.”
BAIC, SAIC and Great Wall Motor are all looking for new markets as competition in China get quite tough. Beijing Auto plans an IPO in Hong Kong later this year, to boost car sales by more than 70% by 2015 from the goal of 2.1 million units set for this year.