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SAIC to export vans to Thailand

2013-10-08 14:00 Xinhua Web Editor: qindexing

SAIC Motor Corp plans to sell right-hand-drive models of its Maxus-brand van in Thailand next year, according to Thai media.

The first model to hit the Thai market will be SAIC's Maxus Datong V80, a 16-seat van powered by a 2.5-liter diesel engine, the Bangkok Post reported.

The van will be imported by SAIC Motor-CP Co, SAIC's joint venture in Thailand with Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group.

The joint venture plans to sell 1,000 vans in the first year and 1,800 units annually in two or three years, according to the Bangkok Post.

The Maxus Datong V80 was developed on a platform that SAIC purchased in 2009 from LDV Group, a bankrupt United Kingdom commercial vehicle maker. It is built in SAIC's assembly plant in Wuxi in east China's Jiangsu province.

The SAIC Motor-CP joint venture also plans to assemble the right-hand-drive Maxus Datong at a plant in Rayong, Thailand, and export the locally built van to Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, the newspaper reported.

To date, SAIC has sold the van in China and a number of other countries including Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar and South Africa.

As SAIC Motor-CP moves ahead with its import plans, the partnership also expects to open a new assembly plant in the Thai city of Rayong in two years.

The plant, which will build up to 200,000 vehicles a year, will mainly produce SAIC's MG cars.

General Motors, which has a joint venture with SAIC in China, also has an assembly plant in Rayong.

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