Entrepreneur Sérgio Habib, Group SHC head, has announced a deal with China's JAC Motors (Jianghuai Automotive Co) for high-volume, long term imports of three models starting in the last quarter of 2010.

His plans are ambitious: 3,000 units monthly, or 1% of the Brazilian market for cars and light commercials in 2011. The dealer network will start at 50 outlets.

Habib, Citroën of Brazil CEO until mid-2008, is one of the most successful executives in the auto sector.

Besides owning many Citroën, Ford and VW dealerships, he is also the official Jaguar and Aston Martin importer. The 10-year JAC operation will demand a US$100m investment.

Initial models chosen for Brazil are the J5 compact/medium-size saloon, the J6 minivan and J3 compact saloon and hatchback.

"Four factors," Habib told just-auto, "made me stick with JAC Motors.

"Firstly, this automaker really invests in new manufacturing processes. Second, the design centre in partnership with Pininfarina the company operates in Turin and another for interior design in Tokyo. Third, its cars are visually pleasing to the Brazilian consumer. And finally, JD Power surveys indicate this Chinese brand rates highly for quality."

Fernando Calmon