China's Chery to make cars in Spain, Thailand

23 Apr 2024

China's Chery to make cars in Spain, Thailand

Chery Auto, China’s state-owned automobile manufacturer, is expanding overseas with a joint venture deal with Spanish company Ebro-EV Motors and a production facility in neighbouring Thailand.

Wuhu-based Chery plans to launch three brands in Europe, including ICE, hybrid and EV, with three new models apiece within the next two years. 

Cherry has also signed an agreement with Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) to set up a manufacturing facility for electric vehicles in the country.

Cherry will be utilising Japanese carmaker Nissan’s plant which was closed in 2021 and acquired by Spanish company Ebro EV Motors to set up its first manufacturing site in Europe.

The joint venture will start production of Chery's Omoda 5 electric vehicle, besides two SUV modes with internal combustion engine by the fourth quarter of 2024, Ebro's CEO Pedro Calef said.

Nissan had handed over its main plant in Barcelona to Spanish electric motorcycle maker Silence and local engineering groups QEV and EV Motors, which planned to turn it into a hub for electric vehicles.

EV Motors acquired full corporate control of the hub in March, ahead of entering into joint venture talks with Chery.

The joint venture, to be located in the Zona Franca port area of Barcelona, will have an initial capacity to produce 50,000 vehicles in 2027, which will triple to 15,000 vehicles by 2029. The joint venture, which Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described as part of the reindustrialisation process of Catalonia and Spain as a whole, is expected to create 1,250 jobs.

Spain, already a power house of European automobile Industry with 17 automotive manufacturing plants, exported 87 per cent of its production last year.

With more than 1,000 automotive-related companies, including 15 technology centers and 10 clusters spread across 10 regions, the industry already provides employment to over 230,000 people.

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