SAIC, China's largest auto group, is pushing ahead with a new electric smart car brand project code-named "L," jiemian.com said today, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The "L" project will be headed by SAIC Chairman Chen Hong and will seek to create "China's Tesla," the report said, adding that the importance SAIC attaches to the project is evident.
The "L" project will be a complete departure from the previous mode of operation of Chinese state-owned automakers, and will be run as an independent company with light assets and market-oriented capital operation, the report said.
In addition to SAIC, more domestic and international capital is expected to be attracted to the project in the future.
The "L" project will be positioned in the field of high-end intelligent automobiles and focus on building a "super central computer on wheels" with products covering multiple market segments, the report said.
SAIC has made a series of forward-looking layouts in recent years in software, chips, high-precision maps, self-driving, AI LAB, new-generation electric architecture, travel services and other fields, all of which are expected to appear in the "L" brand.
According to data released today by SAIC, its sales in September were 602,300 vehicles, up 9.5 percent from 550,000 vehicles in the same month last year.
The group's total sales for the first nine months of the year were 3.613 million vehicles, down 18.14 percent from a year earlier.