Manufacturing News

Great Wall to open Russian plant in March

Great Wall Motor Co., China's largest light-truck maker, will start production at its $500 million (3.4 billion yuan) assembly plant in Russia in March.

The factory, in the Tula Oblast region of central Russia, has capacity to build up to 150,000 vehicles a year.

It will initially build the Haval-badged F7 crossover and its sporty variant, the F7X. Great Wall announced the plans at a meeting organized for overseas dealers at its headquarters in the north China city of Baoding last week.

While producing vehicles for Russia, the plant will also serve as Great Wall’s “beachhead” to Europe, the company said, without specifying plans for exports.

Great Wall is the largest crossover maker as well as the largest pickup manufacturer in China.

In November, Great Wall sales edged up 1.1 to 132,489 year over year behind demand for pickups. Through November, the company delivered 919,245 vehicles, a dip of 2.7 percent from the same period last year.

In July, Great Wall signed an agreement with BMW Group to form a 5.1 billion-yuan joint venture to produce electric vehicles in the east China city of Zhangjiagang.

The partnership, which is expected to launch production in 2021, will assemble EVs for BMW’s Mini brand as well as Great Wall’s proprietary marques.

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