Great Wall Motors Opens Plant in Bulgaria image

The first Chinese automaker to assemble cars in the European Union is Great Wall Motors, which recently opened a new assembly plant in Lovech, Bulgaria.

The new plant, which is to start production next month with 150 workers, is expected to produce 8,000 units in the first year, rising gradually at 50,000 annually. Lovech plant, which was constructed by the Chinese company in cooperation with local automaker Litex Motors, was to be opened in February 2011. The 50,000 units are to be produced by 2,000 employees working in two shifts, and later 71-72,000 units on three shifts.

The factory will produce a variety of models, such as Coolbear, Florid, Hover and Wingle, which will be sold in Bulgaria and other countries in the region, including Turkey and Romania, and later expanding to other parts of Europe.

“This is the first plant for a Chinese automaker that will produce in Europe and for Europe,’ Litex Motors marketing director Ivo Dekov said. ‘But production will increase as the markets here and in other European countries develop.”

The plant is ready to start sales with two locally-produced Great Wall models, the Voleex C10 city car and the Steed 5 pick-up, with prices ranging between 16,000 leva ($13,550) and 25,000 leva.