GAC Group, which is shorthand for Guangzhou Automobile Group, has started building a new manufacturing facility on a 2 square mile campus located in China’s southern Guangdong province. The factory will be dedicated to electric car production and autonomous vehicles. It is expected to cost nearly $700 million and will have a capacity of 200,000 cars a year once completed by the end of next year.
The company expects the new factory to help it become recognized worldwide as a major manufacturer of autonomous electric cars. It will be surrounded by an environmentally friendly town whose workers will contribute to the smart manufacturing and culture of innovation at the new facility.
“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,” says Yu Jun, general manager of GAC Group. “The move will help promote the development of the automobile industry and drive economic growth.”
GAC’s first electric car, the GE3, was introduced at the 2017 North America International Auto Show in January. Its new plug-in hybrid sedan, the GA3S, and plug-in hybrid SUV called the GS4 at Shanghai auto show in April. “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,” said Yu. “Our goal is for GAC to take the lead in the EV business and achieve sales of 200,000 electric vehicles by 2020.”
Those are fairly modest goals, especially when compared to the more than one million electric cars Tesla says it will be building by 2020. The Chinese new car market is the largest in the world, with more than 20 million vehicles sold every year. That number is growing steadily and the Chinese government is actively promoting policies that will make more of them electrics. As China goes, so will go the world new car market. There is even a possibility that some of those GAC models could find their way to America in years to come, assuming The Donald doesn’t sign an executive order banning all imported cars from the US.
Source: Electric Cars Report