UPDATE 1-GM to add 4 more plants in China by 2015-exec
SHANGHAI, April 20 (Reuters) - General Motors Co will add four new plants in the next three years in China to bring its production capacity to 5 million vehicles a year, the head of GM China said on Saturday at the Shanghai auto show.
The planned manufacturing capacity comes after GM added two plants last year, boosting its capacity by 20 percent.
Bob Socia, head of GM China, said that the company and its joint venture partners will spend $11 billion in capital expenditure in China by 2016, but did not break out the cost of the four new assembly plants.
The four new factories will bring to 17 the number of assembly plants owned by GM and its joint venture partners, and increase production by another 30 percent.
Socia said auto executives and industry insiders often talk of the danger of production overcapacity but that is not the case at GM. Its plants are running near maximum capacity, he said.
"We're confident about playing here in China," Socia told reporters. "We're here for the long term."
When GM plant capacity increases to 5 million in 2015, the company will export about 300,000 vehicles, Socia said, up from over 100,000 GM expects to export this year.
Socia said there is a chance that GM will export vehicles to the United States from China, but he did not reveal any plans.
"That could very well happen," Socia said of the chance that exports to the U.S. market may occur.
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