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TOTD: Which Car Brand Would Benefit Most From Chinese Ownership?

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/5/2014 Jason Udy

With the recent report that Beijing Automotive Group wants to acquire a “mid- to high-end brand” in Europe or the U.S., we wonder which brand might benefit most from Chinese ownership. Additionally, a BAIC executive at the state-owned Chinese automaker said that the company already has “candidates” in mind.

Lancia and Alfa Romeo are a few brands that might benefit from a new investment, though Fiat has recommitted to Alfa Romeo with a new rear-drive chassis and five new models due by 2018. On the other hand, plans for Lancia include North American-built models co-developed with Chrysler with the exception of the Lancia Epsilon, which will continue being made in Italy. Of course, there's still the possibility Beijing Auto hopes to buy the remains of Saab from Chinese startup NEVS, as it already purchased some old 9-3 tooling from GM in 2009.

2011-lancia-ypsilon-side-view© Provided by MotorTrend 2011-lancia-ypsilon-side-view

While sales of Buick are stronger in China than the U.S., it’s unlikely GM would sell off the money-making brand. If BAIC was crazy enough, it could resurrect a defunct brand such as Mercury, Oldsmobile, or Pontiac, rather than buy an existing automaker. Another possibility would be to purchase the rights to a historical marque such as Edsel, Packard, or Stutz. However, with BAIC's goal of expanding its global presence, it might be wise to buy a make with stronger brand recognition around the world.

Which current or historic automotive brand would benefit most from Chinese ownership? Share your thoughts below on today’s Thread of the Day.


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