Surprise Saab financial saviour Hawtai Motor Group claims on its website to be one of the largest automakers in China. It was founded in 2000 and has two plants located in Rongcheng, Shandong province, and Erdos, Inner Mongolia province.

Annual production capacity is now 200,000 vehicles, 300,000 engines and 300,000 automatic transmissions. The global headquarters and R&D centre are in Beijing and there are also R&D organisations in Korea, Germany and "other countries".

The company originally built SUVs under licence from Hyundai but now makes its own SUV and sedan models plus diesel engines, using licence from VM Motori, and ZF automatic transmissions.

Milestones

2000 Rongcheng Huatai Motor founded in Shandong Province. It soon became one of the major SUV producers in China

2003 Hawtai Motor Hyundai Terracan SUV launched

2006 Hyundai Santa Fe launched on 10 October

2006 Erdos plant started production.

2007 Hawtai Motor started to build its own brand

2009 Santa Fe C9 launched

2010 Hawtai showed three new self-developed models, the B11 sedan, B35 SUV and B21 sedan

Hawtai Motor's Rongcheng plant has pressing, welding, painting and final assembly shops and an inspection line. It makes the Santa Fe and the B11.

OED Engine was estabished in 2006 with registered capital of RMB400m in Kangbashi New district, Erdos. It has over 1000 employees and claims the largest and most advanced diesel engine and gearbox factory in China.

It was licensed by ltaly's VM Motori to manfacture Euro IV emission standard diesel engines.

In 2007 the company introduced four- and six-speed automatic gearboxes using ZF technology.

A Wikipedia entry said some Hawtai models use SAIC engines.