It looks like Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp. (BAIC), which was recently reported to be taking a look at unnamed European automakers for a potential acquisition, has come to this side of the Pond. The latest news is that BAIC is targeting extended-range plug-in vehicle maker Fisker Automotive for a possible buyout, Automotive News China reports, citing various Chinese media sources. BAIC executives visited Fisker's offices in Southern California last week, according to Automotive News China. The Chinese-government owned automaker is said to be particularly interested in the Fisker Atlantic, a less-expensive alternative to the $100,000-plus Karma that hasn't yet seen the light of day.
Late last month, BAIC was reportedly considering buying one of three European automakers as a way to meet its goal of selling 400,000 vehicles outside of China by the end of the decade. The company, which partners with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and Hyundai to build certain models in China, was reported at one time to be looking at Saab as a possible acquisition target.
Meanwhile, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, whose state set up $21.5 million in loans and grants for future production of the Atlantic at an old General Motors factory, recently said he expected Fisker to declare bankruptcy. Fisker halted production of the Karma last year after being granted a $529-million loan from the US Department of Energy. About $300 million of those funds were frozen after the company missed production quotas.