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by Matt Brogan

General Motors Co.’s Saab unit could be the next European brand to be sold to China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.

Geely was negotiating with GM without results a while ago, Lawrence Ang, an executive director of Geely Auto, was asked if talks would be resumed and he said “Who knows?”

The Parent company of Geely Auto is also bidding for Ford Motor Co.’s Volvo car unit, with interests in parts and engines.

“The battered U.S and European auto markets continue to provide us with buying opportunities,” Ang said after a shareholder meeting.

Geely’s shares increased 3.2 per cent on Monday, beating a 0.8 per cent loss on the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

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Ford has named Zhejiang Geely Holdings as preferred bidder for its Swedish unit Volvo and is applying for a $1 billion loan from Chinese banks to help finance its $1.8 billion bid.

“Geely Auto, which used to make and sell some of China’s cheapest cars, raised $334 million earlier this year by issuing convertible bonds and warrants to an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. Part of the proceeds would be used to fund acquisition plans,” Ang said.

“Geely Auto also aimed to lift capital spending by 25 per cent to 43 per cent next year to about 1 billion yuan (about $146.4 million), initially for expanding capacity and building a new model platform,” he said.

The company is positive about the China’s car market and aims to sell 400,000 vehicles next year, this year sales are estimated to reach approximately 300,000 units.




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