Beijing Auto Says the Saab Deal is Not Over

Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp is still interested in buying Saab, said the Chinese car company's general manager. As reporters tried to get more information about BAIC’s intentions, Wang Dazong said: "I would just say, 'stay tuned a little bit.'"

As you might recall, Swedish car manufacturer Saab was about to be bought by a consortium of which BAIC was a member. Then super car manufacturer Koenigsegg decided to back out of the deal, and now the ball is in BAIC’s court. "I obviously have no way of influencing GM's timetable," Wang said. "I would just say we are very dynamic and impatient people. We want to do things fast."

Talking about China’s slowdown in car sales, Wang said this is only natural, considering the 45 percent surge in industry wide sales so far this year, powered in part by aggressive tax breaks on fuel-efficient cars and other subsidies.

"We would certainly like to encourage the incentive program to continue. All the indications are that it is moving in that direction," he said. "But this year had tremendous growth, so normally there is a little bit of hangover, so it may impact next year's volume in the industry."

According to Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Zengwei, the government would expand schemes that give consumers a discount if they trade in old cars for new ones. BAIC is looking for a 30 percent sales growth next year which is considered by Wang “cautiously optimistic”, as the industry is expected to grow by 10 percent.
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