Chinese firm to build cars in Mexico

February 25th, 2009 - 3:03 am ICT by IANS  

Shanghai, Feb 25 (IANS) China’s Changan Auto will set up a factory in Mexico to produce 50,000 vehicles annually in partnership with Mexican firm Autopark, EFE reported.
A framework agreement has been signed in this regard and both firms are negotiating the details of the creation of a joint company, Zhong Ling, head of the Chinese firm’s public relations department, said.

Zhong said the Mexican plant would produce three Changan models: the Benben mini, Zhixiang and Yuexiang sedans.

This is the sixth joint venture of the Changan group abroad and the first in Latin America. The company also has plants in the US, Ukraine, Iran, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The spokesman said the company wishes to expand its operations in North America and Europe. It also hopes to set up eight new factories abroad in the next two years. He, however, did not reveal the location of the intended plants.

In 2008, Changan exported 40,000 vehicles, and hopes to raise the figure to 200,000, in the next three years.

Changan has become the third Chinese firm willing to set up bases in Mexico. The other two firms are Geely and the state-run First Auto Works (FAW), which is likely to tie up with Mexico’s Elektra group to also produce automobiles.

The FAW would invest $150 million at an automobile plant there to produce around 100,000 vehicles annually. The plant is scheduled to begin its operation in 2010.

China’s fourth largest carmaker, Chery, has also announced its plan recently to open a factory in the South African capital of Johannesburg. The company has already sold 2,500 vehicles since it introduced the brand there last May. Chery also has a plant in Uruguay, EFE said Tuesday.

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