Great Wall Motors is stepping up its global expansion with the completion at the end of last week of its acquisition of a vehicle plant in Brazil from Daimler AG.

The Chinese automaker said it expected to begin production at the Iracemapolis plant, located in Sao Paulo state, in the second half of 2023 once it completed its initial investment which would include plant refurbishment and digitalisation as well as component locatisation. The factory would have capacity for 100,000 vehicles a year and create 2,000 jobs in the local area.

The company has earmarked BRL10bn (US$1.9bn) for investment in Brazil over the next decade which will be spent also on R&D facilities focused on localising smart technologies and other “scientific” research, as well as on building EV charging networks in the main cities. It is currently establishing a sales network in the country and aimed to begin importing vehicles in the second half of this year, ahead of local production.

Great Wall Motors said it wanted to have 10 hybrid and electric models on sale in Brazil within three years under the GWM, Tank, Haval and POER brands as well as its Ora battery electric vehicle (BEV) brand. They would all feature connected technology and drive assist functions and have 60% local content by 2025.

Great Wall Motor said its global sales increased by almost 16% to 1,280,993 units in 2021, including 142,793 overseas sales which was more than the previous year’s volume. The company already has overseas vehicle production operations in India, Thailand and Russia.

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