Chinese automaker Haval begins construction of a $1 billion auto plant in the heart of the country’s automotive hub in Chongqing province.

The Yangchuan plant, expected to take 18 months to complete, will be the production hub for the Haval H9, described by Haval as an all-wheel-drive pickup/utility vehicle. Production is to launch in late 2019 with an initial annual capacity of 250,000 units.

The new Yangchuan factory is based on Haval’s state-of-the-art Xushui plant in Baoding and will feature the latest robotics and technology in vehicle stamping, assembly and painting.

Yangchuan was chosen over 20 potential sites because of its strategic transportation and logistical links, Haval says in a statement. Located in China’s booming southwest region, Yangchuan features access to the Yangtze River and major railroads.

As China’s largest automotive manufacturing hub, Chongqing province gives Haval access to skilled automotive workers and suppliers. The new plant is expected to employ about 10,000 people.

Haval is owned by Great Wall Motors, which sells cars and trucks under its own name and utility vehicles under the Haval brand.