SAIC to Suspend UK Plant Until 2010

Similar to Chinese rivals, SAIC is sketching plans to launch cars across Europe. But the company has an entirely new market strategy and, according to recent reports, it wants to avoid the global recession by shutting down production lines until it will debut a new model. BBC recently reported that SAIC is considering halting production at Birmingham's Longbridge plant and end production of a special version of the MGTF in a couple of weeks.

SAIC's UK partner MG Motor UK said that the Chinese manufacturer hasn't made a decision on the matter and assured us that a public statement will be released in the near future.

"No final decision has been made regarding a temporary shutdown of our production facility. If such a decision is taken we are likely to make a statement at that time confirming our intentions," the company said.

Separately, SAIC recently signed a deal with Chinese manufacturer BYD for lithium-ion batteries that will be installed on Roewe hybrids. According to figures provided by the battery manufacturers, the Li-ion units are expected to last for around 600,000 km and 2,000 recharges. SAIC says the upcoming hybrids are cutting fuel consumption by around 20 percent compared to the current gasoline models.

According to quarter 1 financial results, SAIC posted a 50 percent loss compared to the same period of the previous year. The company's profit stood at MB626.9m ($91.8 million). Overall, 2008 was also a bad year, SAIC registering a 85.5 percent plummet. SAIC hopes to sell 1.8 million of its vehicles in 2009, maintaining the trend set in 2008. Its financial target remains at RMB119.4bn, up from RMB105.89bn in 2008.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories