BEIJING, China – General Motors Co. has received government approval to build a Cadillac factory as part of GM’s efforts to expand its share of China’s booming luxury auto market.
Plans call for the 8 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) factory in Shanghai to begin production in 2015 with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles.
“We want to build where we sell. That is very important to us,” said Alan Adler, a GM spokesman in Detroit.
GM sells imported Cadillacs in China but the luxury market is dominated by Germany’s Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi.
Automakers and industry analysts say luxury cars, along with SUVs, should be the fastest-growing parts of China’s auto market.
Sales of luxury cars rose 12 per cent last year to 675,000 vehicles, according to LMC Automotive, a research firm.
The president of GM’s China arm, Bob Socia, said last month that one of the automaker’s priorities in China is to expand Cadillac’s small market share.
“We’ve got our sights set on the luxury market,” said Socia at the Shanghai auto show. He said Cadillac will introduce a new model in China each year through 2016.
The Cadillac factory is being built by Shanghai GM, the American automaker’s joint venture with state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
Also Wednesday, GM opened a factory in Indonesia in Bekasi, on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, to manufacture its Chevrolet Spin, a seven-seat subcompact multipurpose vehicle.
The $150 million facility employs 700 people and will have an annual production capacity of 40,000 vehicles, according to GM. It said 20 per cent of production will be exported to Thailand and the Philippines, with the rest sold in Indonesia.
With files from the Chicago Tribune