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GM, SAIC to Develop Alternative-Energy Cars in China

General Motors Co. and its Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp., will cooperate on developing alternative-energy vehicles as the world’s largest auto market aims to reduce its dependence on oil.

GM, China’s largest overseas carmaker, and Shanghai-based SAIC may share technologies for developing electric vehicles and components, the companies said in a e-mailed statement today. They also will increase the role of their engineering and design joint venture, the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center in Shanghai.

The partners join rivals Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG in planning to sell cars powered by lithium-ion batteries. China, the world’s largest oil importer, is offering subsidies to buyers of such vehicles.

The announcement comes as Detroit-based GM aims to raise as much as $10.6 billion in an initial public offering, two people familiar with the plan said Nov. 1. SAIC, which has partnered with GM in China for more than a decade, has said it may participate in the offering.

“As a strategic partner of GM, we hope to see a successful IPO,” Judy Zhu, spokesman for the Chinese automaker, said today. “However, SAIC still needs more details before making a decision.”

Shanghai GM, the automakers’ passenger-car venture, sold about 843,000 vehicles in mainland China during the first 10 months of this year, according to the statement.

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