SAIC Motor Corp. started producing MG cars, mainly for export, at a newly built assembly plant in Ningde, a city in east China coastal province of Fujian.
The first vehicle to come off the production line on Sunday was the plug-in hybrid version of the MG HS compact crossover, the leading state-owned automaker said.
The 5-billion yuan ($702 million) factory can build up to 240,000 vehicles a year at full capacity.
The plug-in hybrid variant of the MG HS is the third electrified vehicle marketed under the MG brand, following the plug-in version of the MG6 sedan and the battery variant of the EZS subcompact crossover.
The plug-in MG HS will be shipped to the United Kingdom and other European countries, according to SAIC, without identifying the additional countries.
In July, the electric MG EZ went on sale in the U.K. and has since been shipped to the Netherlands and Norway, according to SAIC.
In the U.K., the main export market for MG, SAIC also sells the MG3, MG ZS and MG GS through imports.
The Ningde plant, which will also assemble gasoline vehicles for MG, is SAIC’s fourth factory in China, after plants in Shanghai, Nanjing and Zhengzhou. It will also increase SAIC’s annual production capacity in China to 980,000 vehicles from 740,000.
The new factory will also build gasoline models for MG, according to SAIC.
Outside China, SAIC also produces cars for MG in Thailand and India.
In 2005, Nanjing Auto, another state-owned automaker, purchased the MG brand from bankrupt U.K. automaker MG Rover in 2005. Two years later, Nanjing Auto was acquired by SAIC.
SAIC also produces and sells passenger vehicles under the Roewe brand in China.
SAIC has delivered 414,740 under the MG and Roewe brands in China this year through August, a drop of 9.3 percent from a year earlier.
The company didn’t disclose separate sales or exports for the MG brand during the eight-month period.