General Motors Co., which opened two assembly plants in China last year, says it will launch four more in the country in less than three years.
The $11 billion project will boost GM’s annual capacity in China 30% to 5 million units by 2015. The expansion also will add about 6,000 manufacturing jobs, according to the company, which presented its plan to reporters at the Shanghai auto show on Saturday.
GM didn’t specify where the plants will be built or what they will make. But in February it indicated that one of the factories will be dedicated to making Cadillac models. GM China President Bob Socia says the company’s expansion will focus on luxury vehicles and SUVs—both of which have become fast-growing mainstream segments of the Chinese market.
GM currently sells five SUV or crossover models in China. Socia says the company will add nine new or refreshed models in those categories within five years. GM also reiterates that it will expand its Cadillac offerings in China from six models now to the brand’s entire global lineup by 2016.
The company expects Cadillac sales in China to jump to more than 100,000 units by 2015 from 30,000 units last year and capture 10% of the luxury car segment there by 2020.
GM intends to add 400 dealers in China this year, bringing the count to 4,200 stores by year-end. The company predicts it will have 5,100 retail outlets in the country by 2015. Currently the company has about 21,000 dealers worldwide, including 4,500 in the U.S.