China said to set its sights on EV players
China's official enthusiasm for electric vehicles has Chinese companies looking for acquisitions that could help feed the country's EV frenzy -- should it actually occur.
Wanxiang Group last week won U.S. government approval to acquire A123 Systems, a bankrupt maker of lithium ion car batteries that was funded with federal money. And Wanxiang also is a potential investor in troubled Fisker Automotive, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper says that Fisker wants to find a suitor by next month and that two possible buyers have hired banks to work on offers. It says much of the interest in Fisker is coming from China and elsewhere in Asia. Fisker is also talking to companies in other regions, including the United States, sources told the newspaper.
Fisker is hard up for cash and isn't producing vehicles because it can't obtain batteries from its supplier, A123. It has one product on the market, the $100,000 Karma plug-in hybrid. A second car, the Atlantic, is in the works, and it's likely to start at about $55,000. But Fisker halted the development of the Atlantic last year after the U.S. Department of Energy barred the company from drawing down the remaining portion of its $529 million federal loan.