China's Largest Automaker's Q1 Profit Up 63%

Sales spurred by government incentives

SAIC Motor Corp. said on April 9 that its first-quarter net profit more than quadrupled from a year earlier as government incentives continued to drive up vehicle sales.

The nation's largest auto maker in terms of sales sold more than 890,000 vehicles in the first quarter, up 63% from the same period a year earlier.

SAIC, which has joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen, did not give specific figures for first-quarter earnings in its preliminary announcement.

It posted a net profit of 626.9 million yuan (US$91.8 million) in the first quarter of 2009.

China's auto sales soared to 13.64 million units in 2009 on government policy incentives, outstripping those of the United States for the first time in January last year to make the Asian giant the world's biggest auto market.

These measures included slashing taxes on cars with engines smaller than 1.6 liters and subsidizing clean-technology vehicles.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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