SHANGHAI -- Great Wall Motor Co. plans to build four more plants outside China by 2015 to assemble vehicles from kits, CEO Wang Fengying said.
The plants are in addition to 12 that Great Wall operates overseas and another one the privately held automaker is building in Bulgaria. Although the new plants will build vehicles from kits, they will be able to be converted into full-scale assembly plants if needed, according to the company.
The four other overseas plants will be established either as joint ventures with local partners or as wholly owned subsidiaries, Wang said.
"We haven't decided exactly where the four plants will be located, but they will be in CIS [the former Soviet Union], Southeast Asia, North America and South Africa," Wang told Automotive News China in an interview in late April at the Shanghai auto show.
Great Wall, China's largest producer of SUVs and pickups, started building sedans three years ago. Its new overseas plants will build all three vehicle types, Wang said.
The automaker assembles vehicles from kits exported from China to Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt, Senegal, Ethiopia and Venezuela.
Great Wall's plant under construction in Lovech, Bulgaria, will start production this year with an annual capacity of 50,000 units. It is a joint venture between the Chinese company and Bulgaria's Litex Motors Corp.
Great Wall also exports SUVs and pickups to Italy, Australia, Romania, Sweden and Spain.
In 2010, Great Wall sold about 500,000 units, including 80,000 vehicles overseas. This year, Wang said, the Chinese company aims to lift its vehicle exports to 150,000 units.