Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) started production of a new car called the Saibao at a new base in Yizheng, Jiangsu province, Xinhua reported. The new plant, the Yizheng Automobile Company, is a wholly-funded subsidiary of SAIC, with an investment of Yn350m.
SAIC's other two plants are both joint ventures, one with German car maker Volkswagen and the other with American auto giant General Motors. The Saibao is a multi-purpose light passenger van modelled on General Motors' Opel S4200.
SAIC's half-year 2002 profits fell 11 per cent year-on-year to Yn406m. It blamed shrinking profits on reduced car parts margins following a reduction in import tariffs.