Great Wall Motor Co. continues to add production capacity in China despite the prolonged dip in the new-vehicle market, launching output at an assembly plant in the southwest China municipality of Chongqing last week.
The 4.5 billion-yuan ($629-million) factory, its first production site in southwest China, will mainly build pickups and SUVs with annual production capacity of 160,000 vehicles, Great Wall said.
The plant’s first product is the company’s new-generation pickup, which will be marketed under the Pao brand. It will be joined by a large SUV.
The Chongqing factory is Great Wall’s fourth production site in China. The company also operates assembly plants in three North China cities -- Baoding, Xushui and Tianjin.
It is also the second plant Great Wall has opened globally this year. In June, a Russian plant, located in the Tula Oblast region of central Russia, began production. That factory can build up to 150,000 vehicles a year.
Great Wall said it is on track to construct assembly plants in three east China cities -- Rizhao, Pinghu and Taizhou.
The company also expects to set up a joint venture with BMW Group to produce electric vehicles for the Mini brand and its proprietary marques in the east China city of Zhangjiagang.
However, the joint venture agreement the two sides signed in July 2018 has not been approved by Chinese regulators
Great Wall, based in Baoding, is the largest crossover maker as well as the largest pickup manufacturer in China.
In the first seven months, its cumulative sales rose 5.3 percent to 553,895 on volumes generated by new crossovers in China and Russia.