China-based automobile manufacturer Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group), the parent company of GAC Motor, has begun construction of a large industrial park for electric and intelligent vehicles as part of its efforts to boost its electric vehicle business. Located in Guangzhou’s Panyu district in China’s southern Guangdong province, the industrial park has a planned area of 5 square kilometers. More than 45 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) of investment, from both GAC Group and other enterprises that will locate there, are expected to be poured into the project.
The new electric vehicle plant, part of the industrial park, is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 with a total investment of 4.69 billion yuan (US$679 million). This will provide GAC Motor with a production capacity of 200,000 units per year.
|Rendering of GAC Motor’s planned industrial park for electric and intelligent vehicles. Click to enlarge.
With a focus on smart manufacturing, innovative technologies and the development of an environmentally-friendly town, the industrial park’s aim is to become a collaborative, intelligent, open, innovative, and green center of manufacturing for electric and intelligent vehicles. It is also plays a significant role in pushing forward GAC Motor’s global branding strategy.
The planning and construction of this industrial park is a concrete step to implement the Chinese government’s green development goals for Guangdong and the national ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy. The move will help promote the development of the automobile industry and drive economic growth.
In the coming five years, we will push out at least seven new electric vehicle models and cover three product series including pure electric, range-extending and hybrid. Our goal is for GAC Motor to take the lead in the EV business and achieve sales of 20,000 electric vehicles by 2020.—Yu Jun, General Manager of GAC Motor
According to figures compiled by the US Department of Energy (DOE) (earlier post), China alone accounted for 42% of global plug-in vehicle sales (316,800 of 756,000 units) in 2016.
GAC Motor unveiled its first pure electric vehicle, the GE3, at the 2017 North America International Auto Show this January, and released the new plug-in hybrid sedan GA3S PHEV and plug-in hybrid SUV GS4 PHEV at Auto Shanghai 2017 in April.
GAC Motor has signed strategic partnership agreements with the world’s top 10 auto suppliers, including Aisin Seiki, Michelin, Continental and Faurecia during Auto Shanghai. GAC Motor is also commencing talent recruitment, gathering global top talents and experts in Silicon Valley, Detroit and Boston to conduct advanced research and development to create innovative future mobility.
GAC Motor’s year-to-year growth rate of 96% in 2016 was the highest among all Chinese brands in the corresponding period, doubling its sales volume to more than 380,000 units worldwide. The company ranked 5th among all brands in J.D. Power Asia Pacific’s 2016 China Initial Quality Study, the highest of all Chinese brands for the fourth consecutive year.
GAC Motor has already built a presence in the international markets in regions such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. The company aims to enter the US no later than 2019 to further its global footprint.