SAIC Motor, General Motor’s (GM) China partner, said sales of its own-brand passenger cars surged four-fold in the first quarter to 18,000, Reuters reported. SAIC, China’s largest automaker, manufactures automobiles in joint ventures with GM and Volkswagen, but also makes MG and Roewe branded cars that were developed on the basis of acquired technology. Shares rose on Monday morning to a 10-month high of RMB11.55 (US$1.69), up nearly 6% compared with a 0.5% gain in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index. Chen Hong, the company’s president, was quoted in the official China Securities Journal earlier this month as saying that SAIC expected sales of its own-brand cars to rise to 50,000 units this year, up from 36,000 units in 2008.
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