China’s thirst for former British automotive brands and cars shows no signs of abating any time soon, with yet another Chinese company snapping up a British auto company. The iconic British brand, Bristol, has been purchased by the Xinjiang No1 Tractor Company, a state owned company that is famed for its high quality tractors that resemble John Deere products in the largely agricultural based provincial economy.
SAIC is probably the most famous for snapping up MG and the remains of Rover, which they turned into Roewe for the Chinese market, but other British cars have been built in China such as the Maestro hatchback which was made by Qingdao ETSong, and also the Ital which was built by First Automobile Works in Chengdu.
Bristol was forced into bankruptcy in early March due to poor sales, 22 of the 27 strong staff have already been let go by the company at the Bristol based manufacturing facility. Chinese automotive media are already pushing a great deal of coverage on the buy out which is being shown as another feather in the cap for China’s overseas mergers and acquisitions strategy. Financial details on the takeover are still extremely thin on the ground, but early reports indicate that the new owners will move the production facility to XinJiang province where they will be able to take sell to the central Asian market which has grown wealthy over the last decade due to high mineral deposits. Bristol’s famous Kensington high street dealership will continue to operate, but the new owners plan for dealerships in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and also in other central Asian capitals such as Almaty, Bishkek and Dushanbe.