Photo: Chery Automobile Co
Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co. has inaugurated a plant in the southeastern Brazilian city of Jacarei, its first in the South American country.
The car factory in Sao Paulo state will initially produce the latest generation of the automaker’s Celer subcompact model.
Chery plans to begin assembling a new version of its QQ compact there next year and start producing an SUV in 2016, company executives said at Thursday’s inauguration ceremony.
The models produced in Brazil will be exported to Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay.
Production will start at 50,000 vehicles a year before ramping up to a total annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles in 2018, the executives said.
Chery, which has 67 dealerships in Brazil, expects that total to rise to 100 by year’s end.
The Chinese automaker’s first plant in Brazil is a 400,000-sq.-meter (100-acre) facility that will initially create 300 jobs and eventually provide employment to 3,000 people once it reaches full capacity.
The company invested $400 million in its car factory in Brazil and an additional $130 million in a plant - also inaugurated on Thursday - that will produce its ACTECO engine.
The automaker also announced plans Thursday to invest 50 million reais ($22.7 million) to build a research and technology center in Brazil that will develop Chery models for the Brazilian market.
“In the future, probably starting in 2018, Chery will be offering a vehicle intended, developed and produced especially for the Brazilian market. The technology center also will develop new models for Latin America,” the vice president of the Chinese automaker’s Brazil division, Luis Curi, said.