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SAIC, Chinese partner with GM, Volkswagen, posts 4.7 pct rise in Q3 net


Oct 30 (Reuters) - China's SAIC Motor Corp Ltd , which makes cars jointly with General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG, posted its weakest quarterly performance in a year as the world's biggest auto market slows.


Net income at China's biggest automaker, which sells one of every four vehicles in the country, rose 4.7 percent to 6.84 billionyuan ($1.12 billion) from 6.53 billion a year earlier, SAIC said in an exchange filing on Thursday.


That was the slowest quarterly growth since the second quarter of 2013.


China's auto market is cooling rapidly as an economic slowdown reduces demand for new cars. Market growth could halve to 7 percent this year, Dong Yang, head of China's automobile association, has forecast.


While many independent carmakers, such as Great Wall Motors Co, post a slump in quarterly profit, state-owned SAIC managed to register growth with the help of foreign partners.


Sales volume at SAIC's car making venture with Volkswagen grew 16 percent during the first nine months, more than double industry growth of 7 percent, helped by popular sedan models such as Lavida and New Santana. Sales at SAIC's main venture with GM rose 9 percent.


However, sales at SAIC's own passenger car unit, which sells brands such as Roewe and MG, dropped 15 percent during the Jan-Sept period, reflecting a harsh environment for Chinese nameplates.


Altogether, SAIC sold a total of 4.2 million vehicles during the first nine months, an increase of 11 percent. Net profit rose 13.4 percent during the period.



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