To raise annual production capacity to 2 million in three years as planned, SAIC-GM-Wuling has chosen Chongqing in southwestern China as the location of its new vehicle plant. According to reports from Chongqing Daily, the automaker is about to sign an agreement with the local government and lay foundation for the new plant before the year end.
SGMW currently builds vehicles and engines in two Chinese cities, Liuzhou, where it is based, and Qingdao, where Wuling Rongguang is made. The designed production capacity in the two cities, combined, is 1.02 million a year. A factory under construction in the eastern part of Liuzhou, which is for manufacturing Baojun cars and set to open next month, will add 400,000 to the existing capacity.
Reports on SGMW looking for a third city to build vehicles first appeared in the second half of 2010. Several cities, including Chengdu and Xi’an, have competed for the project.
In the Yufu Industrial Park in the Liangjiang district, Chongqing, where the new factory will be constructed, SGMW will become neighbors to two other minivan makers, Dongfeng Sokon and Changan Auto, as well as a dozen or so parts makers.
The largest minivan maker in China, SGMW is a three-way joint venture between SAIC, GM, and Wuling, which, respectively, has a 50.1%, 44%, and 5.9% stake in it. In sold over 1.3 million vehicles last year and over a million for the first nine months of this year.