Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) plans to invest 10 billion yuan in its Nanjing operations by 2015 and has just commenced operations at a new facility.

The aim is to increase the city's auto production capacity to 1m units and sales revenue to 100 billion yuan, according to  a report on carried by the Xinhua news agency.

The SAIC's second phase of the Nanjing Pukou production base is completed and began production this week. The first Roewe 350 sedan rolled off the assembly line at the plant yesterday.

The second-phase project started construction in October 2008, with a total investment of 2.57 billion yuan. The base will mainly produce SAIC A-class homegrown cars under the Roewe and MG brands, with small-displacement engines, with annual capacity hitting 200,000 cars and 250,000 engines.

The Roewe 350 has a 1.5-litre engine developed by SAIC and is specced to compete with the GM Excelle, Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla.

The 350 was based on the Roewe N1 concept car that was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show last year.