Beijing Auto seeking to buy an auto brand in Europe or US

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 5, 2014

Beijing Automotive Group will acquire a "mid to high-end brand" in Europe or the United States as part of its bid to increase its global presence. Beijing Auto disclosed in 2013 that was seeking to purchase a European brand.

Dong Haiyang, president of Beijing Auto's BAIC International Development Co, remarked that the carmaker has extended the search to the US. Dong said that it will take time for Beijing Auto to break into global markets with its BAIC nameplate, since it is not well-known abroad.

This means that buying a foreign brand would provide the company a shortcut. He said that they have already identified candidates for the acquisition. Beijing Auto has been stepping up expansion both locally and internationally to better compete against larger domestic rivals like Dongfeng Motor, SAIC Motor Corp and FAW Group.

Beijing Auto created an international unit in June 2013 to accelerate international expansion. It also purchased two small rivals in 2013 and recently inked an agreement with Daimler to jointly invest EUR4 billion ($5.51 billion) into their local joint venture to more than double vehicle output by 2015.

Carmakers in China are looking to expand their operations outside country as the local market becomes increasingly congested. With some European and US carmakers already struggling, Chinese carmakers eye buying them to pursue their expansion plans.

Dongfeng recently inked an agreement to acquire a 14-percent stake in PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, while Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired Emerald Automotive in March. [source: AutoGuide]

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