Beiqi Foton to hit the gas in Shandong

08:57, May 17, 2010      

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China's biggest commercial vehicle producer, Beiqi Foton Motor, a subsidiary of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC), plans to build a new plant in Weifang, East China's Shandong Province with an initial investment of 795 million yuan ($116.4 million), the company said Saturday in a statement.

"Beiqi Foton is presently at its maximum capacity. To ease the present capacity bottleneck, the company's directorate has approved a proposal to set up a new facility and sales company in Weifang," Beiqi Foton said in a filing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Beiqi Foton has two plants in Zhucheng, a county-level city of Weifang, which is a prefecture-level city.

The production base in Zhucheng has become Asia's largest light-duty truck produc-tion base and China's largest engineering vehicle production base, with an annual capacity of 450,000 units.

The two plants produce mainly mini trucks, medium-duty trucks and light trucks including the Forland (Shidai), which holds the largest share of any single vehicle in its market, and engineering trucks including the Forland Ruiwo, which has held the largest share of its market for seven years in a row.

Beiqi Foton didn't specify which vehicles the new plant in Weifang will produce, but said the plant is part of the company's strategic business planning for 2010-2015.

Beiqi Foton plans to produce and sell 1.5 million vehicles in 2015 and establish a leading role in the commercial vehicle sector worldwide.

The company also plans to develop a sedan business based on its new energy vehicle technology.

Last year, Beiqi Foton's total output was around 600,000 units.

Beiqi Foton pumped more than 2 billion yuan ($292.9 million) into a project to update its heavy-duty truck technology in January, building the world's largest medium- and heavy-duty truck production base.

Last October, the company set up a joint venture with BAIC, Pulead Technology In-dustry and a Dongguan-based technology firm, vowing to become the nation's biggest producer of lithium batteries for cars.

In December, Beiqi Foton began construction on a new energy vehicle plant in Beijing with an initial investment of over 3 billion yuan ($439.3 million), and invested another 3.2 billion yuan ($468.6 million) in a production base in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province, to increase its capacity to 200,000 units.

The Changsha project will focus on new energy vehicles to help Beiqi Foton complete its goal of producing and selling 300,000 complete vehicles annually in Hunan Province.

Beiqi Foton grabbed contracts to supply 8,000 hybrid buses and 50-100 electric cabs to Beijing, and 50 hybrid buses to Changsha.

It is also trying to build five facilities abroad, each with a capacity of 100,000 units and move into Japan, South Korea, West Europe and North America with high-end vehicles and engines.

Source: Global Times


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