Reports suggest that Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) may make a bid for Opel/Vauxhall.

The firm – seen as an outsider in the race to acquire GM’s European operations – is said to be working on a bid to be submitted ahead of a July 15 deadline.

However, some observers believe that GM is talking up further possible bids in order to put pressure on preferred bidder Magna in current negotiations.

Reuters reported that Sberbank (part of Magna’s consortium bid) chief executive German Gref told reporters on Thursday that others were all effectively out of the race.

“I do not see any serious competition. The choice has been made and the question now is of how to structure the deal,” he said.

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Speaking in Germany’s Bild newspaper on Thursday, Klaus Franz, head of the Opel works council, was quoted as saying GM was playing a high-stakes game in a bid to improve the terms of the sale, adding that he knew of no new offer.

That followed comments from Franz in the Wall Street Journal report, in which he expressed strong reservations about any sale to Beijing Automotive.