George Gao, Shanghai, Gasgoo.com, 24th February, 2009
In its effort to cut costs, Chinese auto giant SAIC is merging the sales networks of its Roewe and MG brands and aims to sell 60,000 Roewe and MG cars this year, up 67% from their sales in 2008, said sina.com today.
In 2009, SAIC will launch two new models of the Roewe and MG brands – a Roewe SUV model and a compact medium-size MG6 model. The sales target of the two brands for this year is set at 60,000 units, with 45,000 Roewe cars and 15,000 MG cars. The MG6 will be launched in late 2009. Slightly revamped MG3 and MG7 models, with all-new interiors and upgraded configurations, will also go to the market.
The Roewe and MG brands sold less than 36,000 cars in 2008 and their expected sales growth of 67% this year will be still far from profit-making goals. The MG cars are made by Nanjing MG Auto Co, which is merging into Nanjing Auto, now a division of SAIC. SAIC developed its own-brand Roewe based on the British Rover it bought.
Currently, some MG cars have entered the Roewe dealerships in some cities and areas of China. The two brands of SAIC will be coming to a united sales network this year for the auto giant to cut costs.
SAIC is the first leading automaker in China to announce its plans to lower costs after the financial crisis. As China’s auto sales growth is expected to dive to the lowest point of 5% since 1998, more domestic carmakers will follow suit to cut costs and boost profitability.
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