Tuesday, April 01, 2008

China's SAIC budgets $105 mln for developing own brand

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) has decided to budget RMB 7.35 billion ($104.8) for developing own brand vehicles, a sum that represents almost half of the total volume of its current investment project, Beijing Morning Post reported today.

SAIC is reported to invest a total of RMB 15.3 billion to boost its current research and development capacities. By pouring 50 percent of the total investment into developing its own brand models including its own version of the Rover 75 (called Roewe) and newly acquired MG, the company aims to gain larger share in mid-end market segment.

Another RMB 2 billion will be used to refurbish its technical center in Shanghai to enhance its own R&D abilities.

SAIC posted a net profit RMB 4.63 billion for the whole year of 2007, up 242% over the previous year. The total revenue last year reached RMB 104 billion, a growth of 434% year on year.

In 2007, the automaker sold 1.69 million vehicles in the Chinese market, up 25.8% over 2006, and 1.13 million of them were passenger vehicles, an increase of 24.3% year on year. The sales volume makes SAIC the leading automaker in China in terms of sales.

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