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China Auto News of the Week (Dec. 28, 2009 - Jan. 1, 2010)

  From Gasgoo.comJanuary 02, 2010

BAIC to use Saab tech for making own-brand cars

Shanghai, December 28 ( Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp (BAIC) plans to use Saab's technology to build three to four own-brand passenger car models over the next three years, media reported.

BAIC has paid $200 million to buy technology from Swedish carmaker Saab from General Motors and will use the Saab tech to develop self-branded vehicles. It plans to invest 33 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) in its own-brand vehicle research and development (R&D) over three years.

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Dongfeng Yulon JV to produce Luxgen cars in 2010

Shanghai, December 28 ( Taiwan's automaker Yulon Group plans to mass-produce its Luxgen-brand cars next year in its joint venture in mainland China with Dongfeng Motor Corp, the Taiwan Economic News reported over the weekend, citing local industry sources.

Dongfeng president Xu Ping recently visited Taiwan and talked with Yulon CEO Kenneth Yen over issues of joint market development and investment tactics in the mainland, the sources said.

Jilin province Nov auto sales double to 124,000 units

Shanghai, December 29 ( Northeast China's Jilin province, home to Chinese auto giant FAW Group, sold 124,000 vehicles in November, up 101% from a year earlier, China Knowledge reported.

In the first 11 months, the province produced around 1.11 million autos, up 34.7% year on year, and sales soared 32.6% to 1.11 million units, meeting this year's sales target of 1 million vehicles one month ahead of schedule. Jilin's sedan output was 774,000 units in the 11-month period, up 36.6%, and sales grew 35.3% to 781,000 units.

Geely unveiling its first model for Western markets

Shanghai, December 29 ( Geely, a private Chinese automaker set to buy Volvo from Ford Motor, is unveiling its first homegrown model specifically designed for Western markets, Bloomberg Markets reported in its February 2010 issue.

The gleaming-white four-door compact, which retails for $11,700 to $17,600 in China, is called the Emgrand, a name made up to conjure grandeur. The first Emgrands have left its plant in the port city of Ningbo through clouds of theatrical smoke.

BYD aims to double car sales again in 2010

Shanghai, December 30 ( BYD Auto has announced its plans to release five new car models in 2010 and to sell 800,000 cars during the year, up from 400,000 units in 2009, China Business News reported yesterday.

BYD said it will launch the L3, I6, G6, S6, M6 all-new car models next year. The five new vehicle products include the sedan, SUV and MPV, of which only the M6 has been displayed to the public. All these new models will be priced between 100,000 yuan ($14,700) and 200,000 yuan.

Great Wall Motor to enter European market in 2010

Shanghai, December 30 ( China's Great Wall Motor is set to enter the European market next year, even though Chinese automakers have had low sales in Europe this year, media reported. The company has selected Britain's I.M. Group as its European distributor.

Great Wall, which makes such models as the Phenom, Coolbear and Florid, will sell its vehicles in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 2010, and then expand its European sales to Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland in 2011. It may be the first Chinese carmaker to benefit from the lucrative European market next year and beyond.

Geely gets strong support from gov't for Volvo deal

Shanghai, December 31 ( Geely Auto said today that its parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has strong support from the Chinese government to acquire Ford Motor's Volvo unit, Reuters reported. The carmaker is seeking ways to cooperate with Volvo after the purchase.

"Without government support, the (Volvo) deal could not be done," Geely Auto CEO Gui Shengyue told reporters in Hong Kong on New Year's Eve. He said that Geely Group had financial support for the acquisition of Volvo, in addition to benefits from the government's subsidies for green cars.

Over half gov't official cars to be home brand

Shanghai, December 31 ( China is set to lift the ratio of domestic brands to more than 50% in procuring cars for its government officials, Xinhua News reported yesterday. This move is part of the policy to promote Chinese auto brands.

The Chinese government's 2010 car-shopping bill is likely to top 100 billion yuan ($14.7 billion), a huge cake for Chinese and foreign car brands alike. Regulations are being drafted to specify the standards and prices of home-brand cars for officials.

China to lead global emerging auto markets in 2010

The emerging markets of China, India and Brazil will lead the way in global auto sales in 2010, a report said Tuesday.

The US market, meanwhile, was expected to see a double-digit increase and will lead the growth of mature markets in 2010, said the global auto report by Canadian Scotiabank Economics.

The report said that a cyclical recovery in global auto sales began in the spring of 2009 and would gain momentum in 2010.

Geely mulls ways to cooperate with Volvo after purchase

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. said Thursday it is looking at ways to cooperate with Volvo Cars after its parent company completes the acquisition of the Ford Motor Co. unit, and added that Volvo will likely remain a separately managed brand for now.

Gui Shengyue, chief executive of Geely Auto, the main unit of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., said injecting the Volvo operation into the Hong Kong-listed firm remains the parent's ultimate goal after it buys the firm, but said no timetable has been set.

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