SAIC Motor-CP Co, the Chinese-Thai car maker, plans to open a new assembly plant in Rayong's Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate by next June.
President Wu Huan said the factory is scheduled to start construction very soon.
The Charoen Pokphand Group late last year announced it had formed a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) for first-phase investment of 10 billion baht in the Chinese company's manufacturing facility in Thailand.
SAIC will own 51% and CP the rest in the newly set up CP Motor Holding, which seeks to facilitate business in Thailand.
SAIC is the largest car maker in China, with annual production and sales of more than 4 million vehicles, with 60,000 exported.
The company intends to make Thailand its manufacturing base for the well-known British brand MG to serve both the local market and exports. It bought the MG brand in 2005.
Initial annual production will be 50,000 units, with plans for output eventually to rise to 200,000 cars per year.
MG cars are expected to go on sale in Thailand in 2014, with three models being launched _ the MG3, MG5 and MG6. Parts will be imported from China for assembly here.
The factory is projected to create more than 200 jobs.
"The Thai factory for right-hand-vehicle manufacturing will serve the region," said Mr Wu.
SAIC Motor-CP is selecting authorised dealers now and plans to have 15-20 distributors next year.
Half of the dealerships will be in and around Bangkok, said Mr Wu.
SAIC now operates four car brands _ Maxus, Roewe, MG and Yuejin.
It has six plants across China and one in Britain.
SAIC earlier said it planned to spend 20 billion baht in Thailand to set up a design and research centre in the future.
Such a facility would cater to 300 designers.
The CP Group has also partnered with SAIC in motorcycle manufacturing and the distribution of air compressors for cars in China.
About the author
- Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter