As the automotive industry in China began to blossom about two decades ago, domestic manufacturers looking to export needed marketable names.
The quickest way to do this was to acquire an established brand and polish it for a new life. Brands like Geely’s Volvo have worked while names like Borgward have languished. And then there was state-owned SAIC, which is playing the long game. When BMW decided to sell the former Rover Group, local investors were there to keep the British automaker going.