Chery company flag is likely to be flying alongside the Philippines outside a brand new assembly plant in a few years

Chery company flag is likely to be flying alongside the Philippines' outside a brand new assembly plant in a few years

China’s Chery Automobile is planning to build a US$100m assembly plant in the Philippines within the next three years.

The carmaker already has factories in Malaysia and Indonesia and is eyeing the Philippines as its third assembly hub in south east Asia.

It recently partnered with a local firm to create Chery Cars Philippines which would initially serve as exclusive distributor of its cars in the country and, eventually, manage assembly operations.

Chery Cars Philippines president and chief operating officer Marinel Santiago, said: "Manufacturing is very capital extensive so we're planning to go into assembly first which we are targeting within three years. We can imports parts and assemble here."

Vice president Guibing Zhang said the Philippine assembly plant would initially produce 20,000 units a year, adding the Philippines is a "perfect" investment site for the company given the country's record economic growth which has resulted in an increase in the number of middle income families.

"We believe the Philippines will lead ASEAN countries in growing investments. We want to be where the action is," he said.

Chery cars currently are all imported from China. The company has introduced eight new models, including commercial, utility vehicles and passenger cars.