Beijing Autos says will reevaluate Saab bid

AP News
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Posted: Nov 25, 2009 6:26 AM

The Chinese automaker that had joined with Koenigsegg Automotive AB in bidding to buy Saab said Wednesday it regrets the Swedish luxury sports car maker's decision to drop the deal and will reconsider its own stance.

Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings had agreed to take a minority stake in Saab as part of the financing arrangements for the bid by a consortium led by Koenigsegg to buy the Swedish car unit of General Motors Co.

In a statement, Beijing Autos said the deal's collapse was "regrettable."

"The path of internationalization and progressive development remains an important part of Beijing Auto's strategy," it said. "In view of Koenigsegg's withdrawal, we will carefully re-evaluate the project and make the appropriate arrangements," it added.

Koenigsegg said Tuesday it had pulled out of the deal, in part because it was unable to agree with investors on how best to move the brand from mass-market to premium.

The news was a blow to General Motors' efforts to keep the Saab brand alive while it focuses on its four core brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.

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It was unclear if any other investors, including Beijing Autos, would attempt to take Koenigsegg's place.

A deal for Chinese manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. to buy Hummer is awaiting approval by the U.S. and Chinese governments.

Another bid, by China's Geely Group for Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, which is owned by Ford Motor Co., has not yet been completed.