An authorized dealer in Beijing has received 40 bookings for Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation's (SAIC) first self-brand model Roewe just a few days after the group announced the model's price, and by last week, the bookings totaled more than 4,000.
The group's vice-chairman, Chen Hong, told China Daily that the group plans to produce more self-branded models.
"But self-brand and joint-venture efforts are equally important to us," he said.
SAIC unveiled the Roewe series in October. Senior Vice-President Phil Murtaugh said that the series targets sophisticated urban buyers. According to Chen, they are selling well.
Chen also dispelled rumors that South Korea's carmaker Ssangyong Motor Co, in which SAIC holds a 51 percent stake, would produce Roewe.
"The Roewe series is tailored for Chinese buyers," he said. "But we will consider the South Korean market when designing future series, and Ssangyong Motor is also going to think over the Chinese market."
SAIC is confident it will maintain its leading position in 2007. In 2006, SAIC sold 1.34 million sedans a 24 percent increase over the previous year. China is expected to sell 8 million sedans in 2007 a 15 percent growth over 2006.
(China Daily March 9, 2007)