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Well it looks like SAIC is not interested...


SAIC denies Chrysler report which it says is speculation

"SHANGHAI Automotive Industry Corp yesterday denied a newspaper report saying it intends to buy DaimlerChrysler AG's financially troubled Chrysler unit.

China's largest auto maker in terms of sales said the report was market speculation and it has no plan to acquire Chrysler, SAIC's spokesperson told Shanghai Daily via a telephone interview.

A South China Morning Post report said yesterday SAIC was joining a spate of Chinese car makers whose talks focused on buying US-based Chrysler, citing unidentified sources.

The other domestic rivals also included First Automotive Works Group Co and Chery Automobile Co Ltd. A day earlier, Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported FAW had dispatched representatives to the United States to talk about the deal but the report did not give other details.

Gao Yuan, a FAW spokesman, refused to comment on the issue except to say "FAW does have a plan to go international, but I have never heard of the deal,"said Gao. "Besides, buying Chrysler could cost too much."

Chery's spokesman Wang Wei denied the report and Trevor Hale, a Beijing-based spokesman from DaimlerChrysler, also did not comment.

Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler posted a loss of US$1.5 billion last year. DaimlerChrysler, its parent, agreed to cut 13,000 jobs to improve its efficiency and has been reported to be talking with General Motors Corp to sell the profit-losing unit.

"It's almost impossible for any of the three Chinese car makers to take over Chrysler as a whole," said Frank Y. Chou, associate partner of Value Partners (China) Management Consulting.

"Chrysler's assets and potential debt are too expensive for them and the deal may also meet difficulties from the US government. But the Chinese car makers still have a chance to buy some parts of Chrysler's assets or technology."

Meanwhile, DaimlerChrysler's supervisory board has approved the partnership with Chery which will allow the Chinese auto maker to build small cars under the Chrysler brand, which will be sold mainly in North America and Europe, the car maker said in a statement yesterday."

Shanghai Daily
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