Beijing Auto seeking to buy mid-sized carmakers in Europe

Article by Anita Panait, on June 24, 2013

Beijing Automotive Group is targeting to take over carmakers in Europe as part of its bid to increase its presence overseas. Dong Haiyang, president of the carmaker’s newly created BAIC International Development Co. disclosed that investment banks have found three medium-size carmakers with "good brand image" in Europe. He said that Beijing Auto is aiming to acquire mid-sized brands in Europe while its economy is sluggish so it can use their facilities as a production base for expansion.

The carmaker currently produces vehicles with Daimler and Hyundai Motor in China. Beijing Auto is planning to reap CHY2.5 billion ($408 million) in overseas profit with a vehicle-sales target of 400,000 units by 2020. Beijing Auto plans to build "world-class" vehicles by 2025. The carmaker has hired Ferrari designer Leonardo Fioravanti to improve its brand appeal. Its Senova sedan was developed using technology acquired from Saab in 2009.

According to Beijing Auto chairman Xu Heyi, they will “do everything in [their] power” to explore overseas markets, adding that establishment of BAIC International puts them at “a new historical threshold.” BAIC International will manage overseas acquisitions and investment and is tasked to boost international vehicle and parts sales for Beijing Auto. 

Beijing Auto is the latest Chinese carmaker seeking markets abroad as local rivalry heats up, next to joins SAIC Motor Corp. and Great Wall Motor.  Xu remarked in March 2013 that Beijing Auto is seeking an initial public offering in Hong Kong as early as this year to help boost its sales by over 70 percent by 2015 from a target of 2.1 million units this year. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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