SAIC and Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) signed a contract on Tuesday to jointly build MG cars in Thailand. In the first stage of their cooperation, an annual production capacity of 50,000 units will be created by 2014 with an investment of 1.8 billion Yuan. A long-term goal is to increase the capacity to 200,000.
Through its Hong Kong and UK subsidiaries, SAIC will own 51% of the joint venture, while CP Group will have a 49% stake. Their factory in Thailand is to roll out right-hand-drive MG cars for both the local and overseas markets, targeting especially Southeast Asian countries, Australia, and New Zealand. The MG6 sedan is expected to be their main product.
SAIC acquired MG assets via Nanjing Auto in 2007. Due to its international profile, the MG brand plays a central role in SAIC’s plan to expand into overseas markets. In 2011, the new MG6 was launched in the UK as SAIC’s Longbridge factory started production with engines and transmissions imported from China. Aiming to eventually land MG models in the US, in June 2012 SAIC opened its new North American operations center in Birmingham, Michigan.