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BAIC to launch more than 21 PVs under Beijing brand by 2015

BEIJING – BAIC, or Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd., displayed a total of 13 models at its show ground, including C30 EV, Saab-based C71 sedan, and the Yusheng007 SUV.

With the development of its independent brand as a core, the fifth largest automaker in China is expected to roll out 21 vehicles under its own Beijing brand by 2015, said company vice general manager Zhang Xin at the show. BAIC plans to have an output capacity of 550,000 units and a sale of 400,000 units for its own branded vehicles by then.

Most of those passenger vehicle models are expected to be based on the platforms of acquired core technologies from GM’s Swedish subsidiary Saab.

To accelerate the development of its own Beijing brand, BAIC bought Saab 9-5 and 9-3 models as well as its engine technologies for about $200 million last December from GM. The first Saab-based car is expected to hit the market in 2011, said Xu Heyi, the company’s ambitious chairman.

According to executives from BAIC, the company aims to sell a total of 100,000 own-brand passenger vehicles next year.

Construction of a 150,000-unit plant for Beijing-brand passenger vehicles kicked off earlier this year in Beijing, said local media.

BAIC is also making inroads into China’s burgeoning market for new energy passenger vehicles.

Last November, it registered a branch focusing on research and development of new energy vehicles, including pure electric cars, petrol-electric hybrid vehicles and other alternative energy vehicles. BAIC said it will begin small-volume production of new energy vehicles later this year. The company aims to boost production of new energy passenger vehicles to 150,000 units per year by 2015.

Including its joint ventures with Daimler and Hyundai, its commercial vehicle arm Beiqi-Foton, and its SUV and pickup subsidiary BAW, BAIC plans to sell a total of 1.24 million vehicles this year, to be up 60 percent from 2009, Xu Heyi said earlier.

In the first quarter of this year, BAIC’s total sales jumped by 43.9 percent year-on-year, hitting 360,000 units, according to CBU-Autostats. Its first-quarter profits are reported to have skyrocketed by 162.4 percent to ¥2.23 billion.

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