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SAIC vows to expand investment to boost independent brands

SHANGHAI – SAIC, China’s largest state-owned automaker and partner of GM and Volkswagen, vowed to invest more funds to boost its own car brands, reported China Securities Journal, citing SAIC chairman Chen Hong on June 19.

The automaker plans to launch a venture capital unit in Silicon Valley, according to Chen, who took office in Shanghai last month.

Chen believes that some joint venture brand models below the ¥100,000 ($16,000) price range have posed a great challenge to Chinese brands.

The automaker has two independent brands, the Roewe and MG. Sales of the Roewe and MG models rose 0.1 percent in the first five months of this year to 85,155 units, compared with the 7.4 percent sales increase of SAIC’s JV with GM. Currently, SAIC gains the bulk of its profits from JVs with foreign partners.

Chinese brands accounted for 21.5 percent of industry car sales last month, a decline of 5.1 percentage points from a year earlier, according to industry data.

SAIC will also attach great importance to EV development as part of the efforts to cope with China’s sever air pollution, said Chen.

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