SHANGHAI, China (AP) — General Motors Corp. began making engines Wednesday at a new plant next to its mini-vehicle joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., in southern China.
The 2 billion yuan ($263 million) plant in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, will have a capacity of 300,000 engines a year, GM said in a statement. It is meant to facilitate product development at SAIC-GM-Wuling's minicar factory, which now buys engines and related parts from outside suppliers, the company said.
The engines will be used first in a new minivan model, the Wuling Hong Tu, a vehicle developed by GM's Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center joint venture in Shanghai with SAIC.
SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co. is a three-way commercial vehicle joint venture of GM, Shanghai-based partner SAIC Motor Corp., and Guangxi province-based Wuling Automobile Co. GM owns 34 percent of the venture, SAIC has 50.1 percent and the remainder is held by Wuling Automobile.
SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 460,155 vehicles in 2006, making it the biggest mini-vehicle producer in China. It sold 279,719 vehicles in January-June, up 23 percent from the same period last year.