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Chinese car giant may settle in Catalonia and bring 10,000 jobs

Catalan President José Montilla visited the Chinese car manufacturer Chery to convince the board to set up its Western European factory in Catalonia. The factory would produce 300,000 cars per year and bring 10,000 new jobs to Catalonia. A task force has been set up, although a final agreement has not been reached.

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01 September 2010 10:39 PM

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ACN

Wuhu, China (ACN).- Good news for the Catalan economy, or better said, good prospects. The Chinese car manufacturer Chery is studying setting up a factory in Catalonia. The Catalan President has travelled to China to meet with the Chinese company\u2019s board. The meeting was very friendly and a good-relation agreement was signed, however the final financial agreement was not been reached. A task force has been set up to finish developing the project, which would bring 3,000 direct jobs and between 6,000 and 7,000 indirect jobs to Catalonia. In addition, the company is planning to establish its headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in Barcelona. Conversations will follow in the weeks to come but prospects look good.


The factory could be set up in Barcelona\u2019s metropolitan area or in Tarragona. 3 locations have already been proposed and Chery is now studying viability options. The Catalan Government, the automobile giant Chery and a consulting firm that will act as an intermediary in the negotiations have decided to develop a report that guarantees the project. At the time being, it is not yet known if the project will result in the setting up of Chery automobile factories in Catalonia. 

The establishment of the automobile giant Chery in Catalonia would mean the production of some 300,000 vehicles every year. Sources told ACN that there have already been talks as to where the factory will be located, within the counties of Tarragona or the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. The same sources assured that the project would be fully functioning by 2015 and would bring some 10,000 new jobs, 3,000 direct jobs and between 6,000-8,000 indirect jobs.

There are three possibilities concerning the location of the factory. Two of them are situated within the county of Tarragona and the other in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. In addition, Catalonia could convert itself into the European, Middle Eastern and African headquarters of the Chinese company.

Chery is one of the 5 main Chinese car producers with a growth rate of over 30%. Last year the company produced more than 500,000 vehicles. In the first semester of 2010 alone, the company produced 380,000 vehicles, an amount representing 46% more than the same period of the previous year. The company\u2019s main headquarters are located in Wuhu, China in the province of Anhui, where they have two automobile factories, a motor factory, a transmission factory, a mechanical research institute and an automotive design institute. Wuhu will soon be a capital for automobile R+D with a planned investment of 300 million euros in the years to come.

The company, which was created in the mid 90s, is primarily state-owned, while the company Shanghai Automotive Corporation owns around 20% of its stock.

Chery\u2019s long-term objective is to have a presence in 80 different countries and set up 15 more production centres within China. At the moment, the company has factories in Russia, Iran, Ukraine, China, Indonesia, Uruguay, Malaysia, Thailand and Egypt.

The growing expansion of Chery made it possible for the Chinese company to become an official sposor in the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008. In addition, it hired FC Barcelona star Leo Messi in its publicity within China, Russia and South America.

Chery currently produces up to 10 different car models: the QQ3, QQ6, A1, A3, A3 Hatchback, A5, Cowin, Tiggo Eastar and the Eastar Cross.  In addition, it owns the brands Riich, Rely and Karry. More than half of the company\u2019s exportations, some 60%, go to the United States, Italy and South Africa. In total, Chery commercialises in 67 countries.

In February of 2009, Chery presented its first electric car model, the S18. At this year\u2019s Shanghai World Expo, the company presented their first FCEV hydrogen vehicle that they plan to commercialise on this year.

Agreement with SEAT

The automobile company has signed agreements with other car companies in order to expand. One of them is SEAT, which in the year 2000 Chery acquired the assembly line of the old SEAT Toledo that was produced in Catalonia until 1998. They adapted it and converted it into their Cowin model that they still commercialise in Europe, the Middle East and China.

6 years later, the Chinese company signed a cooperation agreement with the Italian company Fiat Auto for the supply of 100,000 engines. In 2007, they signed a joint-venture agreement with Group Chrysler that allowed them to enter the U.S. market. 2 years after signing the first agreement with Fiat, Chery began commercializing its Línia, Grande Punto and Bravo models. Recently, Chinese authorities authorised the creation of a joined business with the North-American company Quantum, a subsidiary of the Israel Corporation that specialises in new energies. In this case, they foresee a production of 150,000 vehicles per year.

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  • Catalan President receives a Chery car reprodcution from Anhui Governor in the presence of Chery President

  • Catalan President (left) meets with Anhui Province's Governor (right)

  • The meeting with Chery top-board

  • Catalan President receives a Chery car reprodcution from Anhui Governor in the presence of Chery President
  • Catalan President (left) meets with Anhui Province's Governor (right)
  • The meeting with Chery top-board