Chinese Automaker Plans More Own-Brand Vehicles

23 April 2007

SHANGHAI: Chinese automaker Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation has unveiled plans to develop its own brand of cars through the next five years.

The group, which owns the technology for two marques once produced by collapsed UK automaker MG Rover, has started selling its first own-brand vehicle, the Roewe sedan, based on the Rover 75.

It says it will launch five other models (mid-to-high-end, middle, SUV, compact and mini), offering a full range of products for sale in the domestic market.

SAIC is China's biggest carmaker via partnerships with Germany's Volkswagen and troubled Detroit-headquartered General Motors.

Chairman Hu Maoyan claims SAIC would be willing to cooperate with Chinese rival Nanjing Automobile Corporation, which in 2005 beat it in the battle to buy Rover's production lines and assets.

Says Hu: "We need to use state assets more efficiently and effectively."

The Chinese government has long encouraged consolidation in the auto sector to strengthen a handful of manufacturers able to compete in global markets. A tie-up between SAIC and Nanjing Auto would be applauded by the authorities.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff