China’s Great Wall Motor Group (GWM) on Thursday said it would invest $1.8 billion in the production of hybrid and all-electric vehicles in Brazil.
The company will assemble cars in the city of Iracemápolis in São Paulo state at a factory once owned by Mercedes-Benz.
The company estimates a long-term investment of 10 billion reais, with 4-4.5 billion reais invested from now until 2025.
Pedro Betancourt, director of external and governmental relations at GWM Brasil, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that 2,000 jobs would be created in the region by 2025.
The move would be a boost for Brazil’s vehicle manufacturing sector, which has suffered closures and job losses, including the departure of Ford last year.
Great Wall plans to build models aimed at the domestic market and also for export, Betancourt said. The goal is to achieve 60% local content over the next three years.
In August 2021, Great Wall and Daimler Group signed the purchase agreement on the acquisition of the Iracemápolis plant.
At the time, Meng Xiangjun, president of GWM, said it would accelerate the development and strategic implementation of GWM in South America and “further promote GWM’s transformation into a global technology company”.
He said Brazil is one of the most important overseas strategic markets for GWM.
“We are committed to studying local consumer preferences and the development of and changes in the automobile market.”
GWM posted gross revenue of 136.3 billion yuan, an increase of 31.95% year on year. Profits reached 6.7 billion yuan, an increase of 26.45% year on year.
The company sold 1,280,993 units in 2021, a year-on-year growth rate of 15.2%.
- George Russell