VW bets big in China
German automaker Volkswagen Group plans to increase its investment in China to 10.6 billion euros ($14 billion) over the next five years, according to sources from the company's China operations.
The funds will be used to expand Volkswagen's production capacity and launch new models in the world's biggest vehicle market. Volkswagen already sells the most cars of any automaker in China. It moved 1.48 million cars in the first three quarters of this year, up 39 percent from a year ago.
GM: New sales record
November sales in China by General Motors grew 11.2 percent to an all-time monthly record of 196,990 units. The unprecedented figure boosted the carmaker's sales to 2.17 million units for the first 11 months of 2010, up 32.7 percent from a year previous.
The group's flagship joint venture Shanghai GM registered a 33.4 percent increase to 105,097 units sold last month.
Some 58,977 Chevrolets and 51,254 Buicks were sold in November, respective year-on-year increases of 47.7 percent and 19.7 percent.
Geely unveils Englon brand
Domestic automaker Geely unveiled its first Englon brand car, the SC5-RV model, in Beijing last week. Englon is latest of Geely's subsidiary brands following Gleagle and Emgrand.
Englon is intended to tap the mid-priced segment, with Gleagle focused on the entry-level market and Emgrand made for more affluent buyers.
Geely said it plans to sell 50,000 SC5-RVs in the first year, 80,000 in the second year, and more than 100,000 in its third year on the market. A four-door version of the model will be launched next year.
The company aims to have 42 models and sell 2 million vehicles - half of them overseas - by 2015.
Great Wall in SE Asia
Great Wall Motor Co, China's largest SUV maker, is planning to have five production assembly plants in Southeast Asia by 2015.
The company intends to make pickups in Thailand and Indonesia, and cars in Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
Shang Yugui, deputy manager of Great Wall's sales company, said that the company plans to export components and assemble vehicles locally because of lower tariffs on auto parts.
Hyundai's third facility
Beijing Hyundai Automobile Co broke ground in Beijing last week on its third factory in China. It is expected to start operation in the second half of 2012.
When all three plants are online, they will have a production capacity of 1 million vehicles and compete with the three largest automakers in China - Shanghai Volkswagen, FAW Volkswagen and Shanghai GM.
Beijing Hyundai has sold 700,000 vehicles to date this year.
(China Daily 12/06/2010 page19)