(Adds new manager for Fiat JV)
HONG KONG Jan 25 Guangzhou Automobile Group,
one of China's big state-owned auto
enterprises, said it expects 2012 net profit to decline by 70 to
80 percent from a year earlier, according to a filing after
markets closed on Friday.
Guangzhou Automobile, which makes cars with Japan's Honda
Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Italy's Fiat
, attributed a large part of the loss to reduced sales
after a political dispute between Japan and China over some East
China Sea islands
Increasing competition and restrictions on car purchases in
some central Chinese cities also contributed, it said.
Guangzhou Automobile's joint venture with Fiat Group
Automobiles S.p.A, meanwhile, said in a separate statement that
its current general manager Jack Cheng will be replaced by John
Burton, a British-born executive with "over 40 years of global
experience in the automotive industry".
Burton's appointment will take effect on March 1, the joint
venture, GAC Fiat Automobiles Co., said.
Fiat said Cheng will become China country manager for
Magneti Marelli, a Fiat component subsidiary.
For full statement, here.
(Reporting by Clement Tan in Hong in Hong Kong and Norihiko
Shirouzu in Beijing; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Jonathan