Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group), the parent company of GAC Motor, has begun construction of a large industrial park for electric and intelligent vehicles as part of its efforts to boost its electric vehicle business.

Located in Guangzhou's Panyu district in China's southern Guangdong province, the industrial park has a planned area of five square kilometres. Around CNY45bn (US$6.5bn) of funding, from both GAC Group and other enterprises that will locate there, are expected to be poured into the project.

The new electric vehicle plant, part of the industrial park, is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 with a total spend of 4.69bn yuan (US$679m) to give GAC Motor production capacity of 200,000 units a year.

With a focus on smart manufacturing, innovative technologies and the development of an environmentally-friendly town, the industrial park's aim is to become a collaborative, intelligent, open, innovative, and green centre of manufacturing for electric and intelligent vehicles. It is also plays a significant role in pushing forward GAC Motor's global branding strategy, the automaker said.

"The planning and construction of this industrial park is a concrete step to implement the Chinese government's green development goals for Guangdong and the national 'Made in China 2025' strategy," said Yu Jun, general manager of GAC Motor. "The move will help promote the development of the automobile industry and drive economic growth."

GAC Motor unveiled its first pure electric vehicle, the GE3, at the 2017 Detroit show last January, and released the new plug-in hybrid sedan GA3S PHEV and plug-in hybrid SUV GS4 PHEV at Auto Shanghai 2017 in April.

"In the coming five years, we will push out at least seven new electric vehicle models and cover three product series including pure electric, range-extending and hybrid." said Yu Jun, "Our goal is for GAC Motor to take the lead in the EV business and achieve sales of 20,000 electric vehicles by 2020."

GAC Motor signed strategic partnership agreements with the world's top 10 auto suppliers, including Aisin Seiki, Michelin, Continental and Faurecia during Auto Shanghai. The cooperation in product development, quality control, production supply and market expansion provides the strong support for GAC Motor to make the best quality automobiles, it said.

GAC Motor is also commencing talent recruitment, gathering global top talents and experts in Silicon Valley, Detroit and Boston to conduct advanced research and development to create innovative future mobility.

"These resources and capabilities, along with the upcoming North America R&D centre," Yu added, "enable GAC Motor to better compete in the global market and to succeed on the world stage as an international auto brand with sustainable development capacity."