Chinese company Great Wall will make only electric and hybrid models in Brazil, starting in mid-2023. In an event to celebrate the automaker’s arrival in Brazil, Great Wall’s management team confirmed an investment of R$4 billion by 2025 and said future plans could total R$10 billion. In the first phase of the investment, which includes the start of operations at the factory in Iracemápolis, São Paulo, 2,000 workers will be hired. The company foresees 8,000 indirect jobs in this phase.
The Chinese automaker intends to export vehicles to markets beyond Latin America, said Koma Li, head of the Brazilian operations. According to him, the company is also preparing a research center in Brazil and intends to form partnerships with universities.
“Why Brazil?” asked the executive in his presentation at the factory. Because the country is among the 10 largest markets and car producers in the world and is the largest market in Latin America, he said.
According to Mr. Li, the country plays an important role in the expansion plans of the group, which wants, by 2025, to expand global production to 4 million vehicles per year from the current volume of 1 million.
Regarding the decision to only produce hybrid and electric vehicles, Pedro Betancourt, the company’s public relations officer, said: “We are a young company, only 30 years old; we don’t have to fight with those who defend things that have been done for years.”
According to Oswaldo Ramos, Great Wall’s chief commercial officer, surveys show that 43% of Brazilians want their next car to be electrified and 48% no longer want vehicles that do not offer the minimum of technology-related items, such as connectivity and safety. According to him, the vehicles that will be manufactured in the country will be of new generations, different from those already sold by the company in China and other markets.
Before the start of production in Iracemápolis, Great Wall will sell imported SUV and pickup truck models of its three brands (Haval, Tank and Poer). In this case, the imported ones will be hybrids and plug-in hybrids (which allows the hybrid to also be charged in an external power source). According to Mr. Ramos, the fully electric vehicles will arrive in the second phase, including those that will be produced in the country.