There is considerable new construction in Bahovista, Bulgaria, in what the New York Times calls a “goat-trodden village in the foothills of the Balkans.” China’s Great Wall and Bulgarian wrestler Grisha Ganchev have teamed up to build an assembly plant which, if the NYT is right, “should begin turning out the first Chinese-branded cars in the European Union,” sometime next summer. Which ones? Wait, we’ll get there …
The Bahovitsa plant has the capacity for 50,000 units per year, built from kits shipped from China. Great Wall has obtained the all-important European Whole Vehicle Type Approval for a number of vehicles. The WVTA makes the cars street-legal in all of the EU.
According to the NYT, “the models and technical specifications” of the cars to be built in the goat-trodden village “have yet to be released.” Therefore, one is forced to make assumptions.
A study of what has been submitted for WVTA approval most likely produces the most reliable results.
The enterprising researcher can also visit the 8th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, held from December 21 to 27. Also, a simple read of China’s Global Times will be successful. The paper reports that a “Hover H5 European version,” equipped with a “2.0VGT high-efficiency diesel engine” mated to a 5 speed tranny will be debuted at the event.
According to Great Wall, that diesel engine complies with the strict EURO 5 standard. Having obtained all necessary documentation, the Chinese invasion of Europe may begin.