Chery to set up three assembly plants abroad

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 January, 2007, 12:00am


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Chery Automobile, which makes China's best-selling domestic car brand, plans to set up three assembly plants abroad to boost overseas sales, joining other mainland counterparts in their global push.

The maker of QQ brand cars in China, which sources said planned to sell shares next year, was in talks with potential partners to set up new car plants in the Middle East, eastern Europe and South America, a source said yesterday.

'The projects are still under negotiations. We do not know how many of them will materialise this year,' the source said.

Issues to be settled include the proportions of locally made car parts and local equity in joint ventures, Agence France-Presse quoted Feng Ping, a vice-director of Chery's overseas business department, as saying. Executives would not reveal the value of investments, production capacities or locations.

Chery already has six assembly plants in Russia, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Ukraine and Brazil.

The firm said sales jumped 61 per cent to 305,236 units last year as exports surged 178 per cent to 50,000 units. It planned to sell 393,000 units this year with exports to increase to 70,000 units, chairman Yin Tongyao said.

With foreign carmakers grabbing their share of China's market, mainland manufacturers are looking overseas to sell low-priced products.

Geely Holding Group, the parent of Geely Automobile Holdings, last month said it would boost exports to Southeast Asia through a base in Indonesia with an annual capacity of 30,000 units. It was also seeking to build a Russia plant this year, spokesman Lawrence Ang said.

Brilliance Automotive, BMW's China partner, said last month it aimed to export 25,000 cars to Europe next year and had an export target of 158,000 in five years.

China sold 7.22 million units last year, up 25 per cent from 2005.