SAIC Motor's Profits Surge

Sold more than 1.77 million vehicles in the first half of 2010, up more than 44% from last year

China's SAIC Motor Corp said on July 20 that its estimated first-half net profit had more than quadrupled from a year earlier, although sales slowed slightly in the second quarter.

The nation's largest automaker by number of sales sold more than 1.77 million vehicles in the first half of 2010, up more than 44% from a year earlier, according to a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The figure indicated sales growth lost some momentum in the April-June period. The firm sold more than 891,800 vehicles in the first three months of the year, up 63.6% from the same period a year earlier.

SAIC, which has joint ventures with US auto giant General Motors and Germany's Volkswagen, did not give specific figures for first-half earnings in its preliminary announcement.

The company is scheduled to release its first-half results on August 26.

It posted a net profit of 1.4 billion yuan (US$ 213.2 million) in the first half of 2009.

China's auto sales soared to 13.64 million units in 2009 helped by government incentives, outstripping sales in the United States and making the Asian giant the world's biggest auto market.

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

Auto sales soared 47.7% in the first half of 2010 compared to a year earlier, reaching 9.01 million units, although monthly figures showed a continued trend of softening demand, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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