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With the arrival of Chery in Spain, China accelerates its automotive offensive in Europe

With the arrival of Chery in Spain, China accelerates its automotive offensive in Europe

Chinese car manufacturer Cherry On Friday he formalized his landing in Spain, where it will produce vehicles, mainly electric, starting at the end of 2024, in a new sign of Chinese appetite for the European market despite the clash with Brussels.

Chery, known for its economical cars, is the second Chinese brand to announce its implementation in Europe, after the giant BYD, which in February announced the construction of its first European plant in Hungary, operational in three years.

The arrival of Chery, through an agreement announced on Tuesday, occurs thanks to the creation of a joint company with the Spanish Ebro-EV Motors, a group specialized in the manufacture of electric pick-ups and successor to an old brand of trucks and cars that disappeared in 1987.

The joint venture, in which the Spanish group mainly participates, will use a former Nissan plant that closed in December 2021.

This project will allow the creation of “1,250 jobs”starting with the hiring of “about 150 workers in the coming months”The two partners stated in a statement.

The Nissan plant, which employed 3,000 people, was partially sold in 2021 to motorcycle maker Silence and Ebro-EV Motors. But the Spanish government, working with the Spanish company, was looking for an industrial partner to definitively relaunch it.

“A symbol”

According to the agreement formalized on Friday in an event attended by the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and the vice president of Chery, Guibing Zhang, the Chinese group will assemble in the coming months, thanks to the existing infrastructure, thermal and electric vehicles of its Omoda 5 model.

Starting in the fourth quarter of 2024, electric SUV-style cars marketed under the Ebro brand will also be produced.

Chery and Ebro are betting on a total production of “50,000 vehicles” by 2027 and “150,000 vehicles” starting in 2029, according to the statement.

This project “It will translate into wealth creation and, above all, into the generation and maintenance of employment,” said Pedro Sánchez, who saw the agreement as “a symbol of the reindustrialization process that Spain as a whole is experiencing (…).” .

Founded in 1997, Chery is a state-owned enterprise. The brand, which claims to have sold 1.88 million passenger cars in 2023, 937,000 of them abroad, became very popular about fifteen years ago in China, especially with a small gasoline city car intended for the local market.

Although it is not one of the most visible Chinese manufacturers in the electrical sector, Chery has begun its shift towards that sector and the higher-end sector.

Tensions

Chery’s decision confirms the leading role that Spain has in the automotive sector. Last year, the country assembled 1.87 million cars, ranking as the second largest European producer behind Germany (3.96 million), according to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers.

But its arrival occurs in a context of tensions between Beijing and Brussels, which opened an investigation in September into public subsidies granted by the Chinese authorities to electric cars, accused of distorting competition.

These subsidies allow them to have prices “artificially low”denounced the European Commission, which could impose import taxes on Chinese vehicles, at the risk of triggering a trade war with Beijing.

According to experts, installing factories on European soil would allow Chinese groups to avoid possible tariffs that Brussels imposes, in addition to achieving better integration in the continental market.

The Chinese electricity market, particularly dynamic, has seen the emergence in recent years of dozens of brands such as BYD, Zeeker, Nio, XPeng and Great Wall, which now compete with the American Tesla and other manufacturers in the sector.

Several Chinese brands are trying to strengthen their presence in Europe, where some already sell their products and have installed research and development centers.

In any case, they complain that they continue to face obstacles, behind which, in their opinion, would be the historical European manufacturers.

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Source: Gestion

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