Suzuki has broken ground at its new passenger vehicle plant in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing.

City mayor Huang Qifan said he hoped the city would grow the auto industry to become a Detroit of China. The Japanese carmaker will spend roughly CNY5b (US$80m) on what will be its second factory with Chinese manufacturer Changan Automobile.

The factory will start operations at the end of 2013 with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, which is expected to increase to 250,000 units by 2015.