General Motors Corp. said on Monday its 2 billion yuan ($263 million) engine plant in south China will begin production in August.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM's joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Co. and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile, has been outsourcing engines for its minivans and mini-trucks.

The new facility, scheduled to begin making 1.1 litre and 1.2 litre engines next month, will allow shorter development times for new products, the U.S. automaker said in a statement.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, which sold 420,140 minivans and mini-trucks in China last year, expects to increase sales by more than one-fifth in 2007, the firm's vice president Thomas Drumgoole told Reuters in April.

($1=7.605 Yuan)