Manufacturing News

GM mulls adding new plant in China

While drastically downsizing its operations in the United States, General Motors is considering a new plant in China to meet strong demand here.

"As our sales in China grow, we'll probably have to add a new plant within the next five-year period," said Kevin Wale, president of GM China last week at a media briefing in Shanghai. 
But details on the new plant are not available at this stage. "We haven't decided yet," he added.  Shanghai GM, which is a joint venture between GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., now has three plants with a total capacity of 600,000 vehicles a year.  
Shanghai GM's sales in China have reached record highs in the past two months. In May, it sold 56,011 vehicles, a new record monthly high after 55,000 vehicles in April. 
Wale said GM's filing for bankruptcy protection in the United States won't affect its operations in China. "It's absolutely business as usual here," he said. 
He also noted no outside money is needed for GM's projects in China. "They are all self-funded," he said.  
According to a planning document that GM circulated among U.S. lawmakers in May, GM expects to sell about 17,300 China-made vehicles in the United States in 2011 and to triple that to about 51,500 in 2014.  
But Kevin Wale said GM's primary focus in China is to build vehicles for the domestic market.  
Said Wale: "At some point there is no doubt we'll expand our exports, but I don't see that happening in the foreseeable future."

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