Dongfeng Auto announced it has begun building an own-brand auto manufacturing base in Wuhan Economic Technical Development Zone, Xinhua reported (in Chinese). The base, which represents a total investment of US$1.33 billion, covers an area of 1,000 square meters. The project will include a research and development center as well as a manufacturing base. Annual production capacity in the project's first phase will be 160,000 units. The company's first own-brand model is expected to roll out in 2009.