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FAW-GM begins regular production of light-duty commercial vehicles at new Harbin plant

FAW-GM celebrated the start of regular production of light duty commercial vehicles at its new manufacturing facility in Harbin, Heilongjiang. The new plant covers an area of 500,000 m2 and incorporates a press shop, body shop, paint shop, general assembly shop, frame shop, axle shop and auxiliary facilities. It has an initial annual manufacturing capacity of 100,000 light duty trucks; production may be doubled in line with the growth in demand for the plant’s products.

Commercial vehicles represent one of the largest segments in China’s vehicle market. Our new Harbin plant will enable FAW-GM to expand its position in this segment by growing its manufacturing capacity and capability, while delivering products that meet international levels of quality.

—Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group

Jiefang 501. Click to enlarge.

Ground was broken for the new facility in northern China on 27 May 2009. On 28 February 2011, the first pre-production vehicle rolled off the assembly line.

The facility has integrated GM’s advanced production technology and concepts, including its Global Manufacturing System (GMS), along with FAW’s extensive domestic manufacturing expertise to produce vehicles for the domestic market.

The Harbin plant’s digitally controlled assembly line features a flexible design, enabling it to produce different models at the same time. The positioning of the cabin interior and engine sub-assembly lines can be adjusted. The advanced Manufacturing Enterprise System (MES) processes production information quickly and efficiently.

The plant has an all-new automated press line, with a multi-link extrusion press and spotting press that ensure all parts meet exacting standards. The plant’s all-new high-precision welding line can scientifically analyze welding points for the precision joining of parts and maximum product quality.

The new Harbin plant has about 2,000 employees. Simulated Work Environment (SWE) training was carried out under the guidance of GM experts in advance of the start of regular production.

The Jiefang L501 light duty truck, which was introduced by FAW-GM in January 2010, is the flagship model in the 501 series.

FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. is a 50-50 joint venture between GM China and China FAW Group Corp. (FAW). It was launched on 30 August 2009, and is based in Changchun, Jilin. It is focused on the production and sale of light duty trucks and vans. The joint venture operates manufacturing facilities in Harbin, Heilongjiang; Changchun, Jilin; and Qujing, Yunnan. FAW-GM sold 88,224 vehicles in China in 2010.



It seems that GM has learned a good lesson and is moving more production facilities where future markets will be.

Wonder how long it will take to export those vehicles to USA and other countries?

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