China carmaker Dongfeng drops bid for Fisker stake -sources

BEIJING/DETROIT March 28 Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:24am EDT

BEIJING/DETROIT March 28 (Reuters) - Chinese state-owned carmaker Dongfeng Motor Group will not pursue a bid for a stake in troubled U.S. electric car startup Fisker Automotive because it would be too difficult to move production to China, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Dongfeng's decision comes shortly after another Chinese auto maker, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, also decided not to bid for Fisker, and appears to leave the U.S. company without a suitor.

Two of the sources said it would be almost impossible to move production of Fisker cars to China because of Fisker's obligations with the American Department of Energy (DOE), which has granted Fisker a $529 million loan.

The loan was extended for Fisker to produce cars at a plant in Delaware previously owned by General Motors Co.

"In the end, what mattered to Dongfeng was being able to produce Fisker cars in China," one of the sources said.

"Dongfeng was interested in moving production of Fisker products from the U.S. to China, and it became apparent over time that that could not have been done with this deal."

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