SAIC has forecast a rise of more than 40% in 2011 net income because of high demand for German and American marques made at its Shanghai joint venture factories.

Its announcement failed to impress the stock market which is still concerned about the world's second biggest economy cooling with annual growth slowing to 8.9% in the fourth quarter of last year from 9.1% in the third. A further slowdown is expected to keep pressure on corporate profits this year.

SAIC has JVs with General Motors and Volkswagen and sold more than 4m vehicles last year, up 12% in a Chinese market that rose 2.5%.

The company is expected to announce its full-year earnings on 4 April.