DEALTALK-China automakers no white knights for U.S. giants

lunes 14 de julio de 2008 11:43 CEST

(For more Dealtalks, click [DEALTALK/])

By Fang Yan

SHANGHAI, July 14 (Reuters) - China's fledgling car makers see little to gain from buying assets or equity stakes in General Motors (GM.N: Cotización) and Ford (F.N: Cotización), dismissing speculation they could be white knights for the faltering U.S. giants.

At first glance, it appears an appealing match.

Chinese automakers are eager to enter the North American market, the world's largest, and the woes at General Motors Corp and Ford Motor Co are deepening. GM shares are at a 54-year low, and Ford was forced by slumping sales to abandon its profit goal for 2009.

But Chinese automakers, from top player SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS: Cotización) to up-and-coming Chery Automobile Co, responded coolly when GM shopped around its gas-guzzling Hummer SUV unit and Ford reviewed the prospects for Swedish premium brand, Volvo.

"We haven't had any discussions at the management level to consider either Volvo or Hummer," said Jin Yibo, a spokesman for Chery, a fast-growing maker of inexpensive cars.

"We are moving gradually to enter the higher-end segment ourselves. We are also talking with Fiat and others about making premium models," said Jin.

Chery, which made its name with the QQ, China's best-selling sub-compact car, has already signed an agreement for a joint venture with Italy's Fiat SpA FIA.MI to make Alfa Romeos.   Continuación...