Chinese state owned automaker SAIC Motor this week said it planned to build a vehicle assembly plant in Europe, according to local reports citing a company official.

The Shanghai-based automaker is China’s largest with output exceeding 5.3m vehicles last year across a number of wholly owned companies and joint ventures with foreign international brands such as Volkswagen and General Motors.

Last year, SAIC Motor sold 100,000 vehicles in Europe, mostly under the MG badge which it took over following its merger with Nanjing Automobile Company in 2006.

Yu De, managing director of SAIC Motor’s international business department, said establishing a local factory in Europe had become a priority for the company given its recent rise in sales volume.

The company was currently searching for suitable site in the region for its new plant.

Overseas sales rose 48% to 438,000 vehicles in the first five months of 2023 and were expected to exceed 1.2m units over the full year. The company had set a medium term target of 200,000 annual sales in Europe.

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By GlobalData

SAIC Motor currently has four vehicle production plants outside China, in Thailand, Indonesia, India and Pakistan. It also has three overseas R&D centres, in California’s Silicon Valley, in London and in Tel Aviv, and design centres located in London, Munich, and Tokyo.