On November 18, its tenth anniversary, the three-way joint venture of SAIC, GM, and Wuling (SGMW) started production in "Baojun Auto City," its new base in Liuzhou, Guangxi. Occupying a land of 207 hectares in the eastern part of the city, the new base is designed to churn out 400,000 Baojun-brand passenger cars a year. The investment in phase one reached 8 billion Yuan.
The largest microvan maker in China, SGMW launched the passenger car marque Baojun two years ago. The Baojun line currently features the 630 compact sedan (derived from Buick Excelle) and Lechi subcompact (a re-badged Chevy Spark), which are soon to be joined by a hatchback variant of the 630.
The joint venture has two microvan factories, which are located in Liuzhou and Qingdao and have a combined annual capacity of over one million. As we reported last month, the company was looking to expand to a third city, with an ambition to build 2 million vehicles in 2016.
In the Baojun Auto City, construction is under way for an engine plant, scheduled to open in September 2013, and a R&D center. Some parts makers, including Continental, UAES, and Yanfeng Visteon, also plan to set up an operation here.