SAIC Motor Co., China’s biggest domestic automaker, rose to a five-week high in Shanghai trading after saying it will develop electric cars with General Motors Co. (GM) in the world’s largest auto market.
SAIC rose 5.3 percent to 16.47 yuan at the 3 p.m. close of trading, the highest level since Aug. 15. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.7 percent.
Electric cars will be “a key component in our current five-year plan in China,” Tim Lee, head of international operations at GM, said at an event in Shanghai yesterday to announce the joint initiative.
Automakers including Daimler AG (DAI) and Nissan Motor Co. have announced plans to add alternative-energy vehicles in China, the world’s largest polluter, as the country seeks to reduce emissions. The government aims to have 1 million electric- powered vehicles on the road by 2015, according to the Ministry of Science.
GM and SAIC will design the electric cars and develop components for them at an existing joint venture in China, the two companies said in a statement yesterday.
GM plans to introduce 60 new and upgraded models in China during the next five years, the company said during the Shanghai auto show in April. GM and SAIC operate 10 joint ventures in the nation. Their mini commercial vehicle partnership sells the Wuling Sunshine minivan, China’s best-selling vehicle last year.
GM will not give SAIC or the Chinese intellectual property for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid as part of the agreement, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky told reporters on a conference call yesterday. GM hasn’t received any “request for intellectual property around the Volt,” he said.
The Detroit-based automaker will export the Volt from the U.S. to China, according to Girsky. GM expects to sell small volumes of the model because of tariffs on imported vehicles while locally made electric cars and plug-in hybrids get government subsidies, he said.
General Motors will introduce the Volt in China in the fourth quarter, GM Senior Vice President Mary Barra said in Shanghai today.
GM fell 2.7 percent to $22.43 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading yesterday. The shares have slid 32 percent from GM’s initial public offering price of $33 in November.
Vehicle sales are forecast to slow this year in China, after sales-tax breaks and rebates for rural buyers ended in January and following central bank interest-rate increases.
Vehicle sales in the first eight months of the year rose 3.3 percent to 12 million units, with passenger-car sales gaining 6.1 percent to 9.2 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Sept. 9. Deliveries climbed 32 percent last year.
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