Government-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp has announced plans to make its own high-end sedan using the technical expertise and experience it has gained from joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen AG, the Wall Street Journal reported. The new car, which is expected to be ready for market in six months, will be a modified version of MG Rover Group's luxury, four-door sedan Rover 75, and will compete directly with its joint venture partners' offerings. Shanghai Automotive spokeswoman Zhu Xiangjun said the brand will foster a "healthy" rivalry that will "drive" the joint ventures to "further improve their competitiveness." GM and VW offered muted responses but Michael Dunne, president of consultancy Automotive Resources Asia, said it was a "watershed" moment in China's auto industry. "The Chinese formed joint ventures for one purpose: to learn how to do it themselves one day. That day is here."
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