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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM China JV to raise capacity nearly 50% by 2012

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GM China JV to raise capacity nearly 50% by 2012

May 24, 2010 06:01 CET

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- General Motor Co. and its Chinese partners are expanding their minivan and pickup truck venture, a move which would boost capacity by nearly 50 percent by the end of 2012, the venture said in a statement.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, a three-way tie-up between GM, SAIC Motor Corp. and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile, is adding capacity of 210,000 units to an existing facility in the southern city of Liuzhou, which has a designed capacity of 590,000 units annually, the statement said.

Expansion of the venture's facility in the eastern city of Qingdao, will also start soon, raising the designed capacity to 510,000 units by 2012 from 300,000 units now, it said.

Currently, the Chevrolet Spark is the only car made at the SAIC-GM-Wuling, whose workhorses are Wuling-brand minivans and pickups.

The venture, however, will unveil plans to expand its portfolio to include a bigger sedan soon, Yang Jie, general manager of the venture's sales arm, said in the statement without providing further details.

China, which eclipsed the United States as the world's top auto market last year, has been a major bright spot amid a global industry downturn and a safe haven for foreign auto giants.

Market leader Volkswagen AG last month announced it would increase its investment in China to 6 billion euros from 4.4 billion euros between 2009 and 2011. The money will be used to open two new plants, launch new models and add capacity at existing plants. Ford Motor Co. broke ground for a new China plant in September 2009, while PSA/Peugeot-Citroen aims to start building its third China plant with partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co. by the end of this year.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100524/ANE/305249938/1131#ixzz0osk1gNyy

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