Great Wall to Begin Production in Bulgaria

Chinese manufacturer Great Wall, one of the few currently selling cars in some European countries, is planning to expand its offering and provide lower prices for its cars by building more of them locally.

The expansion of the production process of Great Wall will pick up speed with the help of Bulgaria, where the carmaker is said to be planning a major investment in manufacturing. According to sources cited by Inside Line, Great Wall will use the facility operated together with local carmaker Litex Motors.

The plant, located in Lovech, will be used by Great Wall to manufacture several models, including an SUV, two sedans and a truck. The four models to be produced in Bulgaria are the Florid and Coolbear sedans, the Hover 5 SUV and the Wingle pickup.

Set to start in 2011, production of the Chinese cars is expected to place 50,000 vehicles on the roads each year, with the first 1,000 of them to be ready in February 2011.

According to Inside Line, the investment required from the Chinese amounts to $119 million in the early stages and can reach as much as $420 million in the long run. The plant will employ around 1,800 workers.

Bringing Chinese car manufacturing operations into the country is part of the larger strategy of the Bulgarian government, who plans to make China the largest investor in the next few years. On the other hand, Great Wall aims to become one of the top three SUV makers in the world and achieve a market share of around 8 percent by 2020.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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