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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.

Massachusetts-based A123 Systems has inked a deal to develop lithium-ion battery packs for an upcoming electric passenger vehicle built by China's largest automaker, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). The vehicle, expected to launch sometime in 2012, will likely be a Chinese-market only offering. A123 System's vice president, Jason Forcier, told Bloomberg that the SAIC vehicle will have a range of 100 miles on a full charge.

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