Building on its current momentum within the region, General Motors announced it will be part of a new venture to construct an electrified vehicle factory in China.
GM is joining SAIC Motor Corp Ltd and Wuling Motors to build the $470 million plant. A GM representative said the factory will be dedicated to producing only “new energy vehicles,” China’s term for battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles. Annual capacity is expected to be 200,000 vehicles per year, according to Reuters, and no completion date was released.
This new factory expands on a collaboration already in place between GM and SAIC Motors. Last month, GM announced that it is creating a new vehicle family from the ground up, which will replace several existing models. SAIC Motors is working alongside GM to develop the powertrain architecture and engine for this new line.
“This new vehicle family will feature advanced customer-facing technologies focused on connectivity, safety and fuel efficiency delivered at a compelling value,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “It will be a combination of content and value not offered previously by any automaker in these markets that are poised for growth.”
GM noted that this product line will be manufactured and sold in China, Mexico and India, among other regions.
“There are no plans to export the vehicles to mature markets such as the United States,” said GM.
If BEVs and PHEVs are included in this vehicle family, it’s likely that they will be built at the new Guangxi factory, though the automaker has not yet confirmed it.
Unlike some automakers, which are struggling in China’s market, GM has been posting healthy earnings recently for the region. Much of the strong margins are attributable to sales of luxury vehicles and SUVs, however, not electrified cars.
“GM performed well ahead of the overall industry in China, which was up an estimated 7.5 percent last year. We experienced especially strong growth in demand in the luxury segment as well as in the SUV and MPV segments,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM China Matt Tsien in January.
“GM expects industry demand to rise once again this year in China, our largest global market,” he added. “We will continue to take advantage of the growth opportunities by expanding our unmatched lineup of vehicles and services as well as all areas of our business to ensure we remain a leader.”