Chinese automobile manufacturer Brilliance Auto Group Holdings Limited (Brilliance Auto Group) 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 on Tuesday local time.

Located in 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 the second one, bringing more and more Brilliance-series, a major brand of it, to the South American market.

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), a major trade organization in Latin America, Uruguay boasts an important strategic position in the South American market.

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The cooperation will help the two sides give full play to their respective advantages to provide consumers in Uruguay and South America with more high-quality and cost-effective Chinese automobiles.

This is an important step for Brilliance Auto Group to tap into the South American market as well as a strategic layout for the two firms to promote the development of independent brands in this market through resource sharing and advantage complementarity, said Yan Bingzhe, chairman of Brilliance Auto Group, at the signing ceremony.

It is reported that Brilliance Auto Group, an active BRI participant, has been expanding overseas markets positively in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and other regions.