General Motors (GM) and SAIC Motor, China's largest carmaker, opened a new car manufacturing facility in Shenyang on Wednesday to meet rising demand from the world's second biggest auto market.
The 2.67-billion-yuan ($390 billion) joint venture is the second facility in the capital city of Liaoning province that the two companies have opened.
It will begin the mass production of Chevrolet Cruze compact cars in the second quarter of 2009 with an annual production capacity of 150,000 units, while the other plant in the city produces 50,000 units of its Buick GL8, the most popular executive wagon in the Chinese market.
Currently, GM's annual production capacity in China is more than 1 million units, Henry Wong, spokesman of the company said.
The Chinese automobile market has great potential and in recent years has registered the fastest growth rate worldwide, and it is this that the Detroit-based automakers, who are awaiting a bailout from the US government to avoid bankruptcy, are banking on to provide a brighter future.
GM's sales in China reached 590,126 units in the first half of the year, 12.7 percent higher than last year.
Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China said earlier this month in a forum in Beijing that GM expected to sell 1.2 million vehicles in China next year. It also planned to introduce ten new models in Chinese market by 2011.
Nick Reilly, GM's Asia Pacific president said in September that the company expected its annual sales growth in China to be around 10 to 15 percent over the next five years.