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SAIC to resume delivering electric cars at subsidized prices


Bloomberg News - SAIC Motor Corp. (600104), China's largest automaker, will resume delivery of its electric Roewe E50 at prices based on government subsidies that ended last year.

The Shanghai-based carmaker introduced the battery-powered car in November and sold about 200 units before government rebates for so-called new-energy vehicles expired. While state-owned SAIC stopped delivering the model this year, it has continued taking orders, said Judy Zhu, a spokeswoman.

"Consumers have been waiting quite long for the cars, we feel that we shouldn't let them wait so long," Zhu said by telephone yesterday.

SAIC's move signals anticipation among automakers that China may announce new policies on subsidies for new-energy vehicles, after a three-year trial program was allowed to lapse. The government has formulated new measures that will last through at least 2015 and will backdate the incentives to the start of this year, the China Securities Journal reported yesterday, without saying how it got the information.

The Roewe E50 costs about 128,000 yuan ($21,000) after 94,000 yuan in subsidies from the central and Shanghai governments, said David Zhang, chief executive of TZGEV Ltd., which distributes electric vehicles in Shanghai.

Orders for electric vehicles at TZGEV have declined by about 20 percent this year to about 300 units for various brands after the subsidies ended, according to Zhang.

In Shanghai, buyers of electric cars are also exempt from auctioning for license plates, which exceeded 90,000 yuan this year.

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