A little story on Fiat, from Edmunds' Insideline:
After Rover, Is Shanghai Automotive Looking for Fiat Deal?
Date Posted 03-18-2005
SHANGHAI, China A report in the German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche says Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) has been holding discussions with Fiat about possible investment in the struggling Italian company.
However, a Fiat executive denied a deal was in the pipeline. "There's absolutely nothing real," said Franco Amadei, head of Fiat's operations in China. "Fiat is not at the moment looking for this kind of partnership."
Fiat and SAIC did strike a collaboration deal in December with Fiat unit Iveco to make heavy-duty trucks in Nanjing. And there are considerable synergies with existing alliances. Fiat's carmaking partner in China is Nanjing Automotive, which will become the third partner in the SAIC-Rover deal. Fiat now shares its diesel engine technology with GM, SAIC's main China partner. Indeed, Nanjing Fiat will source some engines from SAIC-GM.
SAIC has already acquired a controlling stake in Korea's SsangYong, and is expected to complete its joint venture agreement with MG Rover next month. But a deal with Fiat, now free of the alliance with General Motors, would be a much more ambitious move for China's number-one carmaker though it would give SAIC valuable access to small-car technology and a large European production base.
What this means to you: There's a lot of logic behind a SAIC-Fiat alliance, but surely SAIC needs to digest Rover first before it takes on such a massive project.