Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall Motor is looking into acquiring a European EV plant in order to support its international expansion. Building a new plant in Germany, Hungary or the Czech Republic would be an option, but the company is also looking to buy an existing plant.
Great Wall Motor, known in Europe for the compact EV Ora Funky Cat, is looking to expand its European operations with a local production facility for electric vehicles. Xianghun Meng, President of Great Wall Motor Europe, is quoted as saying “the eastern German states could come into question”, and that the company is looking into “where and why the experienced Asian manufacturers have set up their European locations”.
Germany, Hungary or maybe the Netherlands?
Hungary seems to be a popular choice among EV makers, with large companies like the Chinese battery supplier CATL, South Korean battery supplier SK Innovation and also German car manufacturer BMW opening factories in the Eastern European country.
Another option is the purchase of an existing plant from a manufacturer stopping or moving its production. No concrete examples have been given, but the Dutch VDL Nedcar plant has been desperately looking for a new partner ever since BMW/Mini decided to pull the production of its compact models. Great Wall says it has received a number of offers from different manufacturers.
As of April, almost a quarter of Great Wall Motor’s sales have come from overseas, mostly from South Africa and Australia, where the company’s combustion and hybrid vehicles are also on sale. Great Wall also made headlines recently because of their dispute with BYD, with the former accusing the latter of not complying with Chinese emissions standards.