Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp. wrapped up its latest round of private-share placement funding by raising $1.5 billion. The automaker intends to use this money to expand its own lineup of vehicles and develop electric-drive models. SAIC Group reports that the majority of the funds poured in from Baosteel Group, a leading steel mill, and the textile company Youngor Group.
Over the years, SAIC has developed partnerships with Volkswagen and General Motors. Most of SAIC's current models are built by its partners and sold under the SAIC name. However, in recent times, the Chinese automaker has focused on developing its own brand and projects that it will sell at least 180,000 SAIC-developed vehicles in 2010.

The Chinese automaker will set aside a portion of the $1.5 billion in funds to expand its technology center for the development of electric-drive vehicles. SAIC hopes to produce advanced technology vehicles that compete with gas-electric offerings from foreign rivals such as Ford and Toyota.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]

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