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Chery to unveil hybrid model
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Chery Automobile Co, a Chinese associate of Chrysler LLC, will introduce as many as five new models next year, including its first hybrid, as competition with auto makers intensifies.


The new models include a sedan and the rest are compacts, Chery President Yin Tongyao said in an interview yesterday in Beijing. The hybrid car, codenamed ISG, is equipped with a 1.3-liter engine and is based on the company's A5 model.


Introducing new vehicles may help Chery retain its share in the world's second-largest vehicle market after GM and other car makers unveiled more than 30 models in the first half, said Bloomberg News.


Rising personal incomes in China have made cars affordable to more people, helping boost sales at Chery, one of the nation's five largest car makers with a 7.2-percent market share.


"Our sales surged more than eightfold over the past five years," Yin said. "We are still tiny, and we still need time to improve ourselves."


The company is still considering a share sale to help finance its expansion, Yin said, without providing a timetable. Domestic and overseas listings could not be totally ruled out, he said.


China's vehicle sales rose 25 percent in the first nine months of the year to 6.458 million, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers yesterday.


Closely held Chery, set up a decade ago, boosted sales 30 percent to 207,096 units in the first half and plans to sell 400,000 cars this year.


The auto maker is testing its hybrid model in eastern Wuhu City, where it's based, said Ying.


Chery and Chrysler have agreed to cooperate on developing new hybrid vehicles and lowering their production and service costs.


(Shanghai Daily October 17, 2007)


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