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Major Chinese automaker Great Wall launches full-scale assembly plant in Russia

Major Chinese automaker Great Wall launches full-scale assembly plant in Russia
One of China’s top car manufacturers, Great Wall Motors (GWM), has opened a new plant for the full assembly of its Haval brand vehicles in Russia’s western region of Tula.

The initial investment in the project, based in the Uzlovaya Industrial Park, totaled $500 million. Great Wall will reportedly invest another $300 million in the plant in the future.

So far, the enterprise has provided the region with 800 jobs, with the company pledging to create an additional 1,000 jobs during the second stage of the project’s implementation.

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Located 40 kilometers from the city of Tula, the new assembly plant is expected to produce 80,000 vehicles annually, with the share of locally-made parts at 30 percent at the initial stage. The Chinese automaker is planning to gradually increase the degree of localization, with production projected to rise to 150,000 cars-per-year.

“With the Tula Factory, we are helping stimulate local economic development as part of the Belt and Road Initiative,” Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motors, told journalists.

The plant has reportedly become the first full-process plant overseas. The enterprise, which covers all production stages including pressing, welding, painting and integrated assembly, will manufacture Haval Sport Utility Vehicles, reportedly China's leading SUV brand and part of the GWM group.

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“I believe our globalization strategy has the potential to go beyond opening international markets – it will propel Haval to be a key player on the global auto stage,” Wei said.

Automobiles from the new factory will also be exported to neighboring countries, bolstering Tula’s foreign exchange income. The Chinese automaker signed a cooperation deal with the regional authorities in May 2014, having become a cornerstone investor in the Uzlovaya Industrial Park.

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