Chinese truck maker Beiqi Foton Motor Co has signed a strategic agreement on October 8 to build a new factory with the government of Deyang city in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The deal is part of Foton's contributions to the province after it was devastated by an earthquake in May.

Beiqi Foton said the factory will make light trucks as well as trucks used in civil engineering, and will have an annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles. Construction of the plant will kick off at the beginning of 2009.

After it is built up, the Deyang factory will become Beiqi Foton's only one manufacturing facility in southwestern China and will expand the truck maker's growth in the light truck market of the vast region.

Beiqi Foton now has an annual output of 400,000 light trucks, which are manufactured in Chucheng (Shandong province of eastern China), Beijing (northern China), Changsha (Hunan province of central China) and Nanhai (Guangdong province of southern China). T

In 2007, Beiqi Foton's light truck sales rose 11% to 319,000 units, representing 28.9% of China's light truck market, and in the first half of 2008, the company's light truck sales grew by 18% y/y to 200,589 units.