Times Staff and Wire Reports

Nation's Largest Auto Maker to Buy Another Car Maker: In a step to consolidate auto makers and make the industry one of the nation's strongest, China No. 1 Automobile Corp. will buy a 51% stake in Jinbei Automobile Co., China Daily reported. Both are state-owned companies. The deal, worth $68 million, will help China No. 1, with more than 100,000 workers, meet its goal of increasing annual production capacity from 200,000 to 1 million vehicles by 2003. Jinbei, which operates joint ventures with General Motors and Toyota, produces 70,000 vehicles a year. China currently produces about 1.4 million motor vehicles annually and hopes to raise that total to 6 million by 2010.

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