A Chinese newspaper reported today that SAIC Motor, China’s biggest automaker, was in talks with BMW AG to produce the German company’s 7 series model in China. But BMW has now dismissed the report as “a rumor.”
The two sides had explored opportunity to manufacture premium cars in China around 2007, but the talks were suspended because of the global financial crisis, the Oriental Morning Post said, citing unidentified SAIC sources.
The companies have been in talks three times in the past about cooperation, including making high-end sedans in the country, the Shanghai-based semi-official newspaper said. SAIC can raise its brand image with help from BMW, the report said.
BMW AG denied this report later in the day, Bloomberg said. “It’s not true,” Sharon Li, a spokeswoman for BMW in China, said of the report. “It’s a rumor,” Li added.
She said BMW had a good business relationship with its partner Brilliance Auto, parent of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, and had not approached other companies [in China] for a new partnership.
BMW and Brilliance make BMW 3 and 5 series in the northern Chinese cities of Shenyang.
SAIC said in an emailed statement that it would not comment on market speculation, Reuters reported.