Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), has reported record monthly sales in January.

In a statement, Shanghai Automotive said sales at its 50:50 joint venture with Volkswagen reached 39,000 units in January. Its compact Polo car model, which is the direct competitor of GM’s Buick Sail, sold 4,700 units. The Passat sedan model sold 11,000 units, the first time the model’s monthly sales volume exceeded 10,000, the company said.

The Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) is expected to turn out more vehicles and generate 130 billion yuan (US$15.66 billion) in sales revenue this year.

The corporation hopes to increase car sales by 20 percent this year based on the marketing standard of 410,000 last year.

Overall car sales in China are expected to reach 1.4 million to 1.5 million this year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers has said.

It has also emerged that Beijing Hyundai Motor Company, a joint venture between the Beijing Automotive Industry Corp and South Korean auto giant Hyundai, sold 170,000 units in 2002, an increase of 36.6 percent year-on-year, ranking fifth in the country.