Russia’s large auto plant Derways has launched a new line to assemble Chinese cars with an annual capacity of 100,000 units. The main Chinese brands for production at the plant will include Geely, Lifan and Great Wall, Inside Line reported this week.
About 16,000 Geely cars priced at the equivalent of $11,000 will be produced this year at Derways, which will also starts production of Lifan and Great Wall models. Last year 7,681 Geely cars were sold in Russia, making it the most popular Chinese auto brand in the country, according to the Association of European Businesses.
The project’s total investment is estimated at the equivalent of $85 million. Alexander Romanov, Director General of Derways, said the plant will produce 25,000 Chinese cars this year and will achieve its full capacity of 100,000 units by 2014.
Derways, established in 2002, currently produces the Lifan Breez sedan and hatchback. The plant bills itself as “the first private auto company in Russia” with “100% Russian development.”
Another Russian automaker Avtotor earlier announced it planned to build 250,000 Chinese cars a year, but now Derways has become the first Russian auto plant to begin full-scale assembly of Chinese vehicles.
In late 2009, Great Wall Motor intended to build its own auto plant in Russia, but the Chinese company has abandoned this project as it was unable to reach an agreement with the Russian government.