The feared Chinese car exports so far have been a dud. The value of car imports beats exports 3:1. This doesn’t dissuade privately owned Chinese carmakers from trying. They are active at the soft underbelly of the world, in developing or emerging markets of South America and Africa. Now, they are getting a bit closer to Europe.
China’s Chery cooperates with Turkish automaker Mermerler Otomotiv to build a Chery plant in Turkey. When finished, the plant will build Chery’s A3/Niche and Change sedans as well as a small SUV, most likely a version of the Tiggo, Gasgoo reports. The plant will have an initial capacity of 20,000 units per year, by 2017, capacity should be ramped up to 100,000 units per year.
The plant is will be in Turkey’s Sakarya Province, not too far from Istanbul. That puts it close to the EU, but not into the EU. Turkey has been trying for long to be a member, but Brussels is more interested to take in powerhouses such as Bulgaria and Rumania, and gives Turkey the cold shoulder.
Because Turkey is not subject to stringent EU rules, and because Turks like a deal, Chery has enjoyed brisk demand in Turkey.
This is Chery’s second attempt to get a foothold in Europe. Chery had plans to acquire the Polish Fabryka Samochodow Osobowych (FSO) factory, which is currently owned by Ukrainian corporation Ukravto. Nothing came of these plans so far. Poland is in the EU.