China Watch : SAIC Motor raises $1.5B to help fund own brands

Automotive News Europe/Bloomberg, 15th December, 2010

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) – The China partner of General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG, SAIC Motor Corp., completed a private share placement that raised 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) to help it develop own-brand and new energy vehicles.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., the company’s parent, agreed to buy about 10 percent of the 720.98 million shares in the placement for about 1 billion yuan, SAIC Motor said in a statement to the city’s stock exchange on Wednesday. While most of SAIC Motor’s vehicles are made with GM and VW, the automaker aims to sell 180,000 of its own-brand vehicles this year, President Chen Hong said in March.

SAIC Motor owns the design rights to MG Rover’s Rover 25 and Rover 75 cars, and renamed the Rover cars in China as Roewe after taking over the rights in 2005.

SAIC Motor also plans to expand a technology center to compete against foreign rivals including Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. in China, which surpassed the United States in auto sales last year.

The Chinese Government is encouraging domestic automakers to develop their own brands and alternative-energy technology.

[Source: Automotive News Europe/Bloomberg]

Clive Goldthorp

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