SAIC Motor to Make Hybrid Cars with US Technologies

By dancurranjr On April 8th, 2009

china-flagChinese automobile tycoon SAIC Motor Co., Ltd. is designing an oil-electric hybrid car model through the introduction of related technologies from A123 Systems and Delphi Corp., two American companies engaged in manufacturing of batteries and auto parts, respectively.

Similar to the Civic hybrid vehicle developed by Honda Motor Co., SAIC Motor’s new product is expected to hit the domestic market in 2010 at the earliest, indicating that China’s automakers make a great progress in the alternative fuel drive technology field.

This time, the advanced Lithium iron phosphate batteries and Delphi’s mild hybrid system will be introduced into the SAIC Motor-branded oil-electric hybrid.

Currently, there are only several oil-electric hybrid car models in China, including the Honda Civic and Prius, which is designed by Toyota Motor Co., and more homegrown carmakers are encouraged to shift their focus onto the EV (electric vehicle) and other new energy vehicle sectors, said people with the direct knowledge of the matter.

The Chinese central government estimates that these automakers can further sharpen their competitive edges and catch up with more foreign rivals, and the nation’s automobile industry will keep a fast growth for long, along with the presence and expansion in such realms.

In the second half of 2008, SAIC Motor’s new production base located in the Shanghai Lingang New City started operation, and this base is designed to roll out the company’s self-developed sedan Roewe 550, the next-generation Roewe 750, and some MG-branded car models.

Drawing a total investment of CNY 2.9 billion, the new base consists of the pressing, body, painting, assembling, and engine workshops, and its annual production capacity is expected to reach 150,000 units before 2010. The SAIC Motor Board Direct Chen Zhixin recent expressed his confidence that the Lingang-located base will keep ahead of the vehicle production technology and process in the following 30 years.

By far, the Shanghai-headquartered automaker has formed a complete proprietary brand system covering three automobile production bases in Lingang, Yizheng, and Pukou, the overseas R&D center, as well as the Anting base and the Nanjing branch of the SAIC Motor Technical Center.

Presently, the Yizheng-located base faces the full production of 50,000 Roewe 750 sedans per year, while the production base lying in Pukou devotes itself to turning out small-sized engines and self-developed A-class vehicles, and its yearly production capacity is forecasted to hit 150,000 units, said Chen Hong, president of SAIC Motor.

SOURCE: Trading Markets

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