SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- China's Hunan Changfeng Motor Co., a major maker of sports utility vehicles, is not in talks on selling a stake to major automakers Guangzhou Automobile or Beijing Automotive, a company official said Friday, denying reports of negotiations on such a deal.
"So far, we have not had talks with either Beijing Auto or Guangzhou Auto," said Wang Tianjun, an official in Changfeng's investor relations department.
Wang said he hoped that Changfeng, a partner of Japan's Mitsubishi Motors, would be able to become "bigger and stronger," but he would not comment further on company strategy.
Chinese state-run newspapers have recently reported that Guangzhou Automobile, a state-owned partner of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., was seeking a controlling stake in Changfeng, whose shares are traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported Friday that Beijing Automotive was also vying for the SUV maker.
Calls to the offices of Guangzhou Automobile and Beijing Automotive rang unanswered Friday.
Chinese policymakers have been pushing for consolidation in many major strategic industries, including steel manufacturing and automaking. Provincials in central China's Hunan province reportedly favor an alliance by Changfeng, which is also state-owned, with a bigger domestic automaker.
Hunan Changfeng's shares fell 0.9 percent to close at 5.26 yuan on Friday.