NANJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Canadian auto supplier giant Magna International signed an agreement Wednesday with Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC Group), China's largest new energy vehicle (NEV) maker and the Zhenjiang government, to build an NEV manufacturing joint venture in the city of Zhenjiang, east China's Jiangsu Province.
The joint venture marks Magna's first investment in a complete vehicle manufacturing plant outside Europe. It will be capable of producing up to 180,000 NEVs per year, and the first production is expected to be launched in late 2020, Magna said.
According to Magna, the joint venture will combine the company's expertise in complete vehicle engineering and manufacturing with BAIC's advantages in local manufacturing, marketing and distribution to support electric mobility in China, the world's largest NEV market.
"Magna has proven experience building complete vehicles for customers," said Guenther Apfalter, president of Magna Europe. "We are excited to work with BAIC to further strengthen Magna's e-mobility capability in the largest global market for new energy vehicles."
Magna is one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, with 338 manufacturing operations and 89 product development, engineering and sales centers in 28 countries and regions.
China has been promoting the development of NEVs in recent years to help cut pollution. The number of NEVs in the country is predicted to reach 5 million by 2020, according to Xu Yanhua, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.