The project will have an annual production capacity of 60 million sets and an estimated annual output of RMB 40 billion.

(Image credit: Welling)

While several Chinese Internet giants are jumping on the car-making bandwagon, some industrial giants are targeting the electric vehicle (EV) parts business.

Chinese home appliance giant Midea Group's wholly-owned subsidiary Welling announced today that it has officially started construction of a new energy auto parts production base in Anqing, Anhui province, which will be an important strategic project for the group.

The total investment in the project is about RMB 11 billion ($1.7 billion), including a fixed-asset investment of about RMB 6.5 billion, and the first phase of the site is 458 mu (305,000 square meters), according to the company.

The project will be mainly used to produce products including power steering motors, electric compressors and drive motors, and is equipped with R&D centers for thermal management, main drive and auxiliary driving systems and national laboratories, Welling said.

The project will have an annual production capacity of 60 million sets and an annual output value of RMB 40 billion after completion, according to the company.

(Rendering of the project released by Welling.)

"The new energy auto parts base is one of the largest projects ever invested by Midea Group. We hope the base will become a new business card for Anqing and provide strong support for building the third pole of the Anhui automotive industry," said Fu Congjun, vice president of the group and president of Midea Industrial Technology.

Welling's five products from three existing product lines have basically been tested on board and gradually mass-produced, and have brought high-quality products and technical solutions to support a number of globally renowned car companies and car-making new forces, it said.

Over the next decade, Midea will invest $1 billion in technology research to become a system-level solution provider for new energy vehicles (NEVs), Welling's press release said.

On May 18 last year, Welling announced three major product lines, including drive systems, thermal management systems and assisted driving systems.

"I think Midea should leverage its manufacturing capabilities and quality control in the appliance sector, especially considering that the supply chain has become a headache for many carmakers in the last six months. We want to be the fastest-responding supplier in the industry to keep up with the speed of the car companies," Fu said at the time.

Chinese home appliance giant Midea unveils multiple core components for EVs