Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp (BAIC) has obtained a 20 billion yuan (US$ 2.93 billion) line of credit from the Bank of China, believed to be the funds needed to buy over Swedish automaker Saab from current owner GM, according to Reuters.
BAIC declined to comment on this latest development but said that it might still be interested in buying Saab, after a consortium led by Swede supercar maker Koenigsegg, of which BAIC was a part of, pulled out of talks with GM. The ailing American giant has said that it will wind down Saab’s operations if a suitable buyer is not found by the end of December, so BAIC could be the marque’s much-needed saviour.
The Beijing based company, which recently launched a self-made electric car, is seeking to compete with more successful local rivals such as Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), which has winning partnerships with China’s market leaders GM and Volkswagen. BAIC has tie ups with Daimler and Hyundai, but is looking to boost production figures and car making capability by having Saab on board. The company’s first step was to buy over production equipment of the previous generation Saab 9-5 – production of the ‘new’ car will start early next year.