Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) said this week it had started construction of a new vehicle factory in an industrial park in Panyu district, in the southern city of Guangzhou.

The plant, which will include component production as well as final assembly, is designated to produce 'new energy' vehicles such as hybrid and electric vehicles as well as high connectivity and driverless vehicles.

A GAC spokesman said the new plant would allow his company to cater for changing market trends over the next 10 years. GAC plans to spend CNY45bn (US$6.5bn) on the factory which will cover 5m sq m, in different stages.

The first phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018, providing the company a production capacity of 200,000 new energy vehicles per year.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2025.

GAC Motor is expected to unveil four new energy vehicles models by the end of 2017.