AUTOSHOW-UPDATE 1-China’s SAIC to make MG 6 cars in UK in 2011

* SAIC on schedule to make, sell MG 6 in UK next year

* In discussion with GM to gain access to its UK market

* See continued growth of China market next year

(Add analysts quotes, details)

By Fang Yan and Alison Leung

GUANGZHOU, China, Dec 20 (BestGrowthStock) – SAIC Motor Corp Ltd
(600104.SS: ) is on schedule to manufacture and sell its MG 6
sedan in Britain in the first quarter of next year, its
president said on Monday, as it aims to revive the famed British
marque.

The leading Chinese automaker became the owner of MG Rover’s
10,000-unit Longbridge plant in Birmingham, central England,
after a merger in late 2007 with its much smaller rival, Nanjing
Automobile Group.

Longbridge, where the MG 6 cars will be made, will also
serve as a platform for tapping the European market in the
future, company executives have said.

SAIC is among a growing band of Chinese firms, including
Chery Automobile and Geely Automobile Holdings (0175.HK: ), which
hope to make their name globally.

SAIC’s latest initiative in Britain will make it the first
Chinese automaker to manufacture and sell vehicles in a mature
market.

SAIC also operates ventures with General Motors (GM.N: ) in
China, making Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac as well as Wuling
brand vehicles.

Their 13-year partnership has long been been hailed as the
most successful one in the Chinese auto industry.

Last week, Kevin Wale, president and managing director of
GM’s China operations, told Reuters the U.S. automaker was
considering giving SAIC access to its own sales network in the
UK. [ID:nTOE6BD01E]

The two sides are still in discussion on the issue, SAIC
President Chen Hong told Reuters.

Access to GM’s network there would be a big plus for SAIC,
which has little exposure to the European market so far,
industry observers say.

In November, SAIC bought nearly a 1 percent stake in GM when
the Detroit automaker returned to the stock market with a more
than $20 billion initial public offering. [ID:nN1845304]

CHINA MARKET

The Chinese auto market has been a bright spot amid a global
industry downturn thanks to Beijing’s policy incentives,
including tax incentives for small cars.

The incentives will expire at the end of the year and many
expect the government to scrap them in 2011.

Chen said he expected the market would continue to grow next
year, but at a slower pace.

In the first eleven months, SAIC sold 3.3 million vehicles,
up 35 percent year-on-year, achieving its own target of 3
million units for the full year and outpacing the overall
market.

Chen said SAIC had yet to finalise its sales target for
2011, but when asked whether the company could sell 4 million
vehicles, he said the company would “strive” to do so.

SAIC also operates car venture with Volkswagen (VOWG.DE: ) in
China.
(Additional reporting by Melanie Lee in Shanghai. Editing by
Jane Merriman)

AUTOSHOW-UPDATE 1-China’s SAIC to make MG 6 cars in UK in 2011