In July, BAIC-Yinxiang and Bisu Auto declared suspension of production at their Hechuan dt., Chongqing facilities on the pretext of rising temperatures (heat wave) and furloughed workers for several weeks. At that time, workers' salaries had been due for a couple of months and it was feared that this was an attempt at "downsizing", i.e. some of the on-leave workers would never be called back. Some reporters speculated on whether the factory would even reopen soon. Now it has been over three months and production is still suspended at the plants. No Bisu or Huansu model has been made in the months August to October (except for a small batch of '206' vans for export); however, deliveries to dealers have carried on somewhat. Salaries for these months too have become due. Also recently, some personnel from the managerial cadre (operations and sales) are known to have resigned.
In October, the situation looked desperate, so BAIC, the Yinxiang group, and the local Hechuan dt. administration met to work out a capital injection plan for the beleaguered automakers. They decided to pump in about 2 billion yuan into BAIC-Yinxiang Auto, with 1 billion yuan coming from BAIC, and 500 million yuan from the Yinxiang group and the Hechuan government each. Further, it has been rumored that to save the brands, Huansu and Bisu may be integrated with Changhe into a new umbrella entity, provisionally "Xin Changhe" or "Xin Huansu" (Xin=new).
We know that brand management for Changhe and Weiwang (together called Da Changhe
meaning Big Changhe) has been brought under the fold of a new company, Beiqi Changhe Automobile Co., Ltd. Furthermore, Weiwang is another tale of woe. Production of the S50 was suspended last year; this year production of all MPVs (M20/M30/M50F) have stopped after April. Even the '306' van has not been made since July. (Weiwang M60 is unaffected as that is made by Changhe)
Also very recently, Jiangxi Changhe Auto set up a company "Chongqing Changhe Automobile Technology Co., Ltd." at the Yinxiang manufacturing base in Hechuan dt., with the cooperation of the Hechuan government. This also lends support to the speculation that Changhe will have some sort of role in the restructuring of Huansu and Bisu. So, it is reasonable to assume that this provisional new entity, once it starts operating as a sub-unit of Beiqi Changhe Automobile, will eventually encompass all the four brands (here I am talking about brand activities not related to production).
Ever since the founding of BAIC-Yinxiang, and then Bisu, there has been speculation about these companies; whether they are joint ventures, subsidiaries, and how they are connected. Here's my attempt to create an organization diagram.
UPDATE: The share of Chongqing Yinxiang Hyosung General Power Machinery Co., Ltd. in Chongqing Bisu Automobile Co., Ltd. has risen to 44.9% from 32.1% on 13-Dec-2018.
As in my previous diagrams, only relevant (and not all) companies are included. The shareholding numbers are as of current; with the proposed capital infusion described above, those numbers are going to change.
It can be seen that, at present
, both Bisu and BAIC-Yinxiang are principally controlled by the Yinxiang group (Zhang family). BAIC only has a minor stake in BAIC-Yinxiang.
Of note, some of the current owners have consolidated their holdings in Yinxiang group companies from other shareholders over the past two to three years.