Changan Automobile Group is to forge a partnership in Mexico to build a manufacturing plant in the country, a senior official was quoted in the press saying.

News agency Reuters quoted Changan vice president Luo Minggang saying the company not only plans to open a manufacturing plant in Mexico but also to export cars to North America.

"We have signed an initial agreement with our Mexican partner to make compact and mid-sized cars there. The plant would start operation at the end of 2009 or early 2010," Minggang was quoted saying.

The plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 50,000 cars.

The Mexican partner was not named and no timetable for the project was given