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GM says no plan to sell stake in China venture

autos Updated: Feb 14, 2009 02:31 IST

General Motors Corp. does not plan to sell its stake in a joint venture with local partner, SAIC Motor Corp, a spokesman for the US automaker said Friday.

"There is no truth to the story that we are planning to sell Shanghai GM shares to our partner SAIC," said Henry Wong, a Shanghai-based spokesman for the company.

Staff at SAIC refused comment on the issue, branding the reports "speculation."

General Motors and Chrysler LLC are due by Tuesday to present plans, under conditions of a $13.4 billion federal government bailout, showing how they intend to restructure and restore their profitability.

GM has said that the Hummer truck brand is up for sale, while it is reviewing Saturn for possible takeover by the dealer network. Saab also is for sale, and Pontiac likely will be pared back to just one or two performance-oriented models.

Reports citing unnamed sources said GM was seeking to raise cash by selling off some of its lucrative assets in China, where its business remains relatively strong.

GM is one of China's biggest automakers, with billions of dollars invested in joint ventures, and a record 1.09 million vehicles sold in 2008, up 6 percent from the year before. It has been counting on the growth in China and other emerging markets to help offset losses elsewhere.

The company first set up shop, with state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp., in 1998 and now has eight joint ventures with SAIC. They include a mini vehicle joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling, in Liuzhou, southern China, which sold 75,168 vehicles last year, up nearly 20 percent from the year before.