Guangzhou Honda will this week announce plans to develop own-brand cars.

The project by the joint venture between Honda Motor and state-run Guangzhou Automobile would be the first foreign car venture to develop a separate brand, Reuters reported, citing “three sources familiar with the situation”.

The joint venture, to be announced on 19 July, would set up a research and development subsidiary to handle the project, one source told the news agency, which added its unidentified sources declined to reveal the total investment in the project.

However, one source said Guangzhou Honda’s investment would exceed the amounts set aside by own-brand development initiatives at individual domestic vehicle makers, Reuters noted.

Another Honda JV in China, Honda Automobile (China) was the first company to begin full-scale exports of Chinese-made cars to Europe. It was established in September 2003 with an investment of $82m and annual production capacity of 50,000 cars and shipped its first Jazz (Fit) units to Europe in June 2005.