China Daily. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), the second-largest of China’s biggest automakers behind First Automotive Works (FAW), plans to begin commercial production of hybrid-powered cars and buses under its own and foreign brands before 2008.
SAIC also said it will start small-volume commercial production of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars before 2010.
Zhu Xiangjun, a spokesperson for SAIC, told China Daily its annual output of hybrid-powered vehicles will be “several thousand units” during the period and will increase to "tens of thousands" before 2010.
In support of these efforts, SAIC on Friday entered a strategic collaboration deal with Shanghai Jiaotong University and Tongji University. Last November the company signed a joint development and commercialization agreement with GM on hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles in China. (Earlier post.)
Toyota begins production of the Prius in China later this year at its joint venture with FAW in Jilin Province.
Maple, the Shanghai-based unit of China’s privately-owned car maker Geely, also plans to begin commercial production of its own hybrid-powered cars in 2008. The company, which also has a deal with Tongji University, plans to manufacture 5,000 to 10,000 hybrid cars a year initially and expects such cars will account for half of its total annual sales in the long term. (Earlier post.)