Chinese automobile manufacturer Brilliance Auto Group says it has made an important step in tapping the South American market by establishing cooperation with Chongqing Lifan Holdings Co., Ltd. (Lifan Group), another Chinese automaker, to co-build an automobile assembly plant in Uruguay.

The signing ceremony for the cooperation was held in Uruguay's capital Montevideo this week.

Located on the No.1 highway of San Jose in southern Uruguay, the plant will cover an area of 21 hectares (about 210,000 square meters) with a building area of 38,000 square meters. It will focus on assembling engines and automobile SKDs (Semi-Knocked Down), with a designed capacity of 20,000 units per shift.

According to the agreement, when the plant is completed and put into operation, Brilliance Auto Group and Lifan Group will share a production capacity of 18,000 automobiles within three years, including 3,000 in the first year, 5,000 in the second year and 10,000 in the third year.

Brilliance Auto Group plans to make Brilliance V3 the first model assembled in this plant and Brilliance V7 after that. The plan is to supply markets in South America.

As the most distant strategic partner of China currently under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well as an important member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), Uruguay boasts an important strategic position in the South American market, Brilliance points out.