BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Geely is building a new plant to produce a quarter of a million bigger-sized cars that will help meet a goal of selling more than 2 million vehicles by 2020 and power its growth, two people familiar with the matter said.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co [GEELY.UL], one of China's five biggest automakers, and the owner of Sweden's Volvo Cars, is building the facility in the eastern port city of Ningbo where it already operates an assembly plant, as per the sources and information from a Geely-owned construction bidding procurement website.
The new capacity will enable Geely <0175.HK> to produce roughly 250,000 more cars a year in Ningbo and add larger cars to its small-car-focused lineup, as well as ramp up launches at its new brand Lynk & Co.
Geely was once known for cheaper, copycat designs but has assumed upmarket aspirations after the Volvo deal. The capacity increase underscores its ambitions as well as the shift in customer preferences towards bigger vehicles in China, the world's biggest auto market.
The plant will have two assembly lines. According to information on the Geely-owned website, the automaker plans to spend 3.4 billion yuan ($498.31 million) for one of them. The overall investment planned for the plant was not immediately known.
($1 = 6.8231 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)