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Chinese-spec Buick Regal - Click above for high-res image gallery

Roewe 750 Hybrid - Click above for a high-res image gallery

The Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) has been blowing a lot of smoke, so to speak, over its ambitions to produce alternative fuel vehicles for several years now. Having partnered with Tongji University's engineering faculty in 2005, SAIC invested nearly $300 million in a new division dedicated towards developing alternative propulsion systems. Now the Chinese automaker is finally tipped to launch its first hybrid as early as next year.

Remember the Roewe 550? Pretty nice-looking ride, especially for a Chinese car, considering some of the freakishly awful stuff that comes out of the country. SAIC apparently realizes that in terms of name recognition, MG > Roewe. Case in point: the introduction of the 550 and 750 sedans in Chile, where both cars are now being sold under the MG moniker by importer SK Bergé. The two four-doors will reportedly be joined by the TF roadster in November, but despite the traditionally British

Click image for a gallery of the Roewe 550 sedan

At the Shanghai Motor Show at least two Chinese manufacturers are reportedly showing "homegrown" cars with hybrid drivetrains. Shanghai Automotive is again showing a hybrid version of the Roewe 750 which is derived from the Rover 75 design they bought the rights too when Rover when belly up in England. The Roewe was first shown at the last Beijing Motor Show. Previous indications were that the 750 used a mild hybrid system of the type used by GM, but it now appears to be a full parallel hybrid s

Ford pulled a shrewd move back in September when it exercised an option to purchase the rights to the Rover brand name from BMW, which meant that Chinese automaker SAIC couldn't use the brand name to sell the ex-Rover cars it had just won the rights to build. Hence, the Roewe brand was born and the 750E was unveiled soon after.