Geely will reportedly base its EV unit production in Hefei - home to NIO's factory
Chinese auto giant Geely Automobile is expected to set up the R&D and production base of its future new pure electric vehicle company in Hefei's North City New Area, covering a total area of more than 1,000 acres, according to Yicai.com.
In September 2020, the Anhui government signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Geely Holding Group, the report said, adding that under the agreement Geely will deepen its cooperation with the central Chinese province.
They will accelerate the construction of manufacturing industry clusters and build an industrial ecosystem in Anhui Province around the development of lightweight, electrification, intelligence, network connectivity, and sharing of automobiles.
Hefei is home to NIO China's headquarters, and NIO's cars are currently produced at a manufacturing base jointly built by the company and JAC Motors, which began construction in October 2016 and will be officially opened in the second half of 2017.
The Hefei advanced manufacturing base currently has more than 2,000 selected JAC technicians and over 200 engineers from NIO's manufacturing, quality, supply management, and R&D fields based at different world-renowned automakers such as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
The Hefei advanced manufacturing base uses an order-based production system, with an annual capacity of 100,000 smart pure electric vehicles planned in two shifts.
CnEVPost reported in late January that NIO's second plant in Hefei entered the construction bidding stage.
The Hefei Public Resources Exchange Center issued a tender announcement to recruit contractors for the construction of a new energy passenger vehicle body parts construction project for Anhui JAC.
The announcement does not specify that this project is NIO's second factory, but cls.cn quotes the project manager as saying, "This project is the second factory built by JAC for NIO Motors, and the current production capacity is no longer enough."
The announcement shows that the estimated contract price for the project is about RMB 350 million, with a planned construction period of 370 calendar days.
Back at Geely, its CEO An Conghui said in an investor conference on February 25 that he did not rule out the possibility of a spin-off of the pure electric business and was examining various options.
"Because of the vital importance of smart electric cars for Geely, we must be the industry leader. Geely also has some plans that will be released at an opportune time in the future," he said.
On February 20, Geely Holding Group Chairman Li Shufu confirmed in an internal staff exchange the plan to form a new pure electric vehicle company that will compete in China's currently hot smart pure electric vehicle market.
Li said Geely has formed two "Blue Geely Action" program plans, one of which focuses on new energy vehicles and plans to make new energy hybrid vehicles account for 90 percent of the output and about 10 percent for traditional energy-saving small-displacement vehicles.
The other program is to focus on pure electric intelligent vehicles in the form of a new pure electric vehicle company, to participate in the intelligent pure electric vehicle market competition.
Li said that these programs are based on the changes in the global automotive industry and the changing environment, and they retain Geely's advantages in the field of traditional energy-saving and new-energy vehicles while opening up new horizons for pure electric smart cars.
(NIO China's headquarter in Hefei.)