Fuji Heavy eyes new U.S. Subaru factory

Kyodo

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru brand cars, is considering building a new plant in the United States to begin operating possibly in the year starting in April 2015, after facing difficulty launching production in China, sources said Friday.

By investing about ¥40 billion, the automaker aims to construct a plant capable of producing 100,000 vehicles a year on the premises of an existing plant in Indiana to meet strong demand in the country, they said.

Fuji Heavy President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said last month the company will prioritize beefing up production in the United States, deeming it is difficult to set up a joint venture and start production in China as its authorities have not yet accepted its application.

Fuji Heavy, which produces automobiles in Japan and the United States, has seen a shortage of stock amid robust sales of its mainstay Legacy series and the Impreza compact.

Offer on Saab

STOCKHOLM
AFP-JIJI

A group of Chinese and Japanese investors submitted an offer to take over bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab, a spokesman said.

“We submitted a definitive offer on April 7″ before the deadline for bids expired, Mikaael Oestlund of the National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS) said Thursday.

NEVS, a Swedish-registered firm founded by a Hong Kong-based company specialized in alternative energy and a Japanese investment fund, declined to disclose the amount of the offer.

The court-appointed administrators for Saab, which filed for bankruptcy in December, refused to confirm an offer had been made or when they might announce a possible candidate to rescue the iconic brand.

According to Swedish media, they could make an announcement as soon as the end of the month. Chinese carmaker Youngman is also known to be interested in buying Saab.

Swedish media have reported that Youngman placed a preliminary bid in late January or early February of about 2 billion kronor ($280 million).

Youngman has long been interested in Saab and tried to snap it up before it declared bankruptcy, but that effort was thwarted by Saab’s former owner, General Motors, which balked at transferring the necessary technology licenses.

Reports have also surfaced that Indian commercial utility vehicles manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra has placed a bid as well.