China Watch : SAIC will share platform among 3 brands

Namrita Chow, Automotive News Europe, 22nd December, 2008

SHANGHAI — Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) is developing a new range of small cars that will share resources, parts and platforms across its SsangYong Motors, Roewe and MG brands. A new small sedan and a related crossover will be produced by SsangYong Motors, which is 51 percent owned by SAIC. The sedan (code-named AP11) and crossover (code-named AP12) will be produced by Ssangyong Motors at a plant in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

The plant in Pukou, Nanjing — which was formerly the Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) MG plant — will also produce the planned Roewe 350 and the MG5. Both of these are also small cars based on the same platform as the AP11, and should launch in 2009, suppliers told Automotive News China.

SAIC has regularly promised that its December 2007 acquisition of NAC MG would lead to important costs savings, through joint purchasing and shared r&d across its various brands. Suppliers to the AP11 project say SsangYong has confirmed a five-year production order for anticipated volume of 600,000 units.

Expansion is already underway in Nanjing, to bring planned annual production capacity of the Pukou plant up to 200,000 vehicles and 250,000 engines, SAIC said in a written statement to Automotive News China.  SAIC would not confirm the company’s plans to share platforms between the SsangYong, MG and Roewe projects. “We cannot comment on the details of our future products until they are officially launched on the market,” SAIC spokeswoman Iris Zhou said.

In an earlier interview, a SAIC spokesperson said the company would “use the same platforms to develop both MG and Roewe brand cars.” NAC MG spokesperson, Lv Qiang previously confirmed that both MG and Roewe now share parts.

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

Clive Goldthorp

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