China’s SAIC, owner of the MG and Roewe brands, will set up a 50,000-unit capacity assembly plant in Thailand, Automotive News China reports. The Shanghai-based company will partner the Charoen Pokphand Group in this venture, which will build cars for sale in the ASEAN region. This is no big surprise, as news of their intentions surfaced earlier in the year.

SAIC and CP Group, the latter controlled by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, will initially invest 1.8 billion yuan (RM885 mil) in the JV and plan to start sales in 2014, according to an SAIC statement. The Chinese will own 51% stake, with CP holding the rest. Annual capacity is planned to eventually reach 200,000 units.

In China, SAIC partners market leaders GM and Volkswagen. It took control of the MG brand via a merger with Nanjing Automobile Group Corp, which bought the British brand and other assets for 604 million yuan (RM296 mil) in 2005 after MG Rover went bust.

Click here to see the MG3, MG’s five-door supermini class hatchback. Thai-made, China-owned MGs anyone?