Chery Automobile raised US$293 million through the sale of a 20% stake to Chinese private equity investors, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A Chery spokesman confirmed that funds had been raised, but declined to reveal the names of the investors, said to be Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management and CDH Investments. The funds will be used to shore up the Anhui-based firm’s balance sheet rather than for overseas acquisitions. While China remains one bright spot in the global auto market, some Chinese automakers have nonetheless been hit hard by slumping demand. Chery failed to meet its 2008 sales target of 480,000 vehicles, selling only 356,000. Chery has applied to make an initial public offering and is waiting for the Shanghai market to reopen for listings.