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State-Owned Automaker SAIC Has Tesla in Its Sights

By Anniek Bao / Oct 14, 2020 07:06 PM / Business & Tech

SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd., China’s largest carmaker, has Tesla in its crosshairs.

The automaker has plans to separate its battery-powered vehicles from fossil-fuel burning cars, as it yearns for the big success of electric vehicle specialist Tesla Inc.

SAIC’s launch of an independent new-energy vehicle (NEV) brand follows the trend of homegrown rivals that are scraping over turf in the world’s largest auto market, especially in the EV race.

A slew of Chinese automakers has raced to the market with stand-alone NEV brands, led by the EV unit of state-owned Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd., also known as BAIC BJEV. Its premium NEV brand ARCFOX unveiled its first mass-produced model, named the Alpha-T, earlier this year.

Separate NEV brands would help traditional carmakers differentiate their more expensive battery-powered vehicles from their cheaper, gas guzzling conventional models, an NEV company executive told Caixin.

Although China’s economy has showed signs of returning to normal, distressed market demand and big cuts to state subsidies for EV purchases have eaten into the revenue of Chinese carmakers during the pandemic, with SAIC experiencing a 24.6% drop in revenue in the first half of 2020.

Read the full story on Caixin Global.

Contact reporter Anniek Bao (yunxinbao@caixin.com) editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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