Guangzhou Automotive Industry Corp, the mainland's sixth-biggest carmaker, may buy overseas car component assets as prices have fallen sharply in the past months. Zeng Qinghong, the chairman of Guangzhou Auto, said yesterday during the Shanghai Auto Show that the carmaker 'hopes to acquire some core technologies of the global counterparts as prices are low now'. Guangzhou Auto has shown interest in Ford's Volvo passenger car brand but did not proceed further with a deal. Sources said in February the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission hoped the manufacturing sector, excluding the commodity industry, would adopt a wait-and-see attitude towards buying global assets as prices were expected to decline further. 'Now is a good time [for mainland carmakers] to buy,' said Mr Zeng. Mainland officials said earlier this month that domestic carmakers should develop their own 'core technologies', especially for the development of emission-free vehicles in order to turn the nation's vehicle industry green. Other mainland carmakers such as Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Corp, Jilin-based First Auto Work Group, Anhui-based Chery Automobile and Zhejiang-based Geely Automobile Holdings are planning to develop technologies to make their own mid-range vehicles. 'A reasonable buying strategy for Chinese carmakers in the overseas market is to snap up patent technologies,' said an executive at SAIC. The firm is interested in 'fixed assets such as sophisticated assembly lines rather than the entire brands of the global car companies'. SAIC suffered a setback from its overseas venture as its financially troubled South Korean unit, Ssangyong Motor, received bankruptcy protection from the court in January. 'No domestic player, including SAIC, is adequately equipped with the managerial know-how,' added the executive. 'We don't know how to address the corporate culture shock after completing a full-scale and across-the-border merger and acquisition.' Apart from Guangzhou Auto, Geely and Chongqing Changan Automobile had also been involved in the initial talks to buy Ford's Volvo brand but no deal has been reached. Geely announced last month the acquisition of Australian automatic transmission supplier Drivetrain System International, the gearbox supplier of Ford, for A$58 million (HK$317.17 million).