| ANN ARBOR, Mich
ANN ARBOR, Mich Nov 7 Chinese automaker SAIC
Motor Corp, which opened a U.S. office in suburban
Detroit this summer, has no plans to build or sell its own cars
in North America in the next several years, the company's top
U.S. executive said on Wednesday.
"It's really clear, in (the) short term - several years -
(there is) no plan for car business in North America for SAIC,"
Yi Lu, head of SAIC USA, said at an industry conference at the
University of Michigan when asked whether the company had plans
for to build or sell its own cars in the region.
But in his first public comments since SAIC opened an office
in Birmingham, Michigan, in June, Yi also said SAIC wants to
build its presence and reputation with other companies in the
U.S. auto industry.
China's largest automaker has joint ventures in China with
market share leaders, General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG
. Yi, 39, previously headed Cadillac in China for the
Shanghai GM joint venture.
In 2005, the state-owned SAIC purchased technology from the
now-defunct MG Rover Group Ltd and has since developed a lineup
of cars sold in China under brand names Roewe and MG.
As part of that deal, it owns and runs MG Rover's
10,000-unit Longbridge plant in Birmingham, central England.
The plant resumed producing MG 6 sedans in May 2011,
targeting Britain initially but with an aim to sell MGs in the
rest of Europe eventually.
Earlier in the year, SAIC rolled out its MG5 and Roewe 950
In June, SAIC opened a 30,000-square-foot office in
Birmingham, Michigan, that will eventually employ 100 people and
focus on three areas - purchasing, logistics, and technology and
engineering. The location currently employs 50 people.