PSA and Dongfeng: Beware of Chinese dragon stories

The Dragon Slayer - Picture courtesy

Why fight – let’s split the bill instead


Gullible blogs reported end of last week that China’s Dongfeng is buying 30 percent of cash-strapped PSA. This after China Business News said that it’s true. Not so fast, said PSA today. The French automaker confirmed that “it is examining industrial and commercial developments with different partners, including the financial implications that would result from them.” However, “none of these projects has reached maturity yet.”

Hard-boiled observers note that stories in Chinese media are not always reliable. After all, Chinese media had once reported that SAIC and Dongfeng would buy GM and Chrysler, and instead, Chrysler was given away to Fiat, while GM ended up as a ward of the state and the unions. Then and now, stories of an impending Chinese takeover are floated to inspire people closer to home.

The usually well-informed Reuters reported over the weekend, that the French government and Dongfeng could each take between 10 and 15 percent of PSA in exchange for a 3 billion Euro total capital increase. A French delegation of executives, government officials and bankers is heading to China for talks to prepare an outline for a deal that could be signed within weeks, the wire says. Sources in China expect a deal to be signed this week. But as PSA noted, none of the projects have reached maturity. In the meantime, stories about the Chinese dragon, are not necessarily true, but they are always good to encourage gallant chevaliers to come to the financial aid of the fair maiden.