Chinese home appliance giant Midea Group has set its sights on a new industry – auto parts for new energy vehicles. The company is already one of the leaders in air conditioners, washing machines and industrial robots.
Midea, whose headquarters is in Foshan, Guangdong province, began construction of an auto parts base in Anqing city of East China's Anhui province on Wednesday.
Labeled as a strategic new base for NEV parts, the project has an overall investment of about 11 billion yuan ($1.74 billion).
It is designed to produce 60 million units of auto parts annually after its completion, with an annual output value of 40 billion yuan, company sources said.
The project in Anqing is a brand-new strategic base established by Midea after investing in Anhui Weiling Auto Parts Co Ltd, which is another major strategic layout of the company's industrial technology in the field of auto parts.
As the largest investment project in Midea's history, the base will mainly produce power steering motors, NEV electric compressors and drive motors of NEVs, the company said.
A research and development center and a national laboratory for thermal management, main drive and auxiliary and intelligent driving systems will also be built in the base.
"The base will become a new growth engine for the auto industry in Anhui," said Fu Yongjun, vice president of Midea.
China's new energy vehicle market will enter the stage of explosive growth, and the trend of vehicle electrification will also bring sharp changes to the automotive industry, said Fu.
Sales volume of domestic new energy vehicles is still expected to exceed 5 million units in 2022 and is expected to expand to 30 million units by 2030, sources in Midea said.
"We are determined to implement new strategies to help forge new growth for our future business," Fang Hongbao said at the company's annual business conference in January.
Fang said the company's electromechanical business unit had been transformed into the Midea Industrial Technology Business Group.
"It is to explore the broader industry of large-scale production of home appliance chips, the launch of five key NEV parts and automated manufacturing," he said.
The company has a broader ambition to become a comprehensive system solution provider for new energy vehicles as it vowed to invest $1 billion in technology research in the field of NEV components.
Five varieties of products of the three existing product lines, namely the power steering motors, NEV electric compressors and drive motors, have been tested and mass produced in succession, the company said.
Midea has already brought high-quality auto parts products and technical solution support to many world-famous automobile enterprises and new forces, it said.
The company's industrial technology unit will form the strategic layout of the six research and development centers and two production bases in the field of NEV components in the world in the near future.