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China's 1st auto plant in EU to open on 21 Feb

Jan. 30, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Great Wall Motor Co<2333>, China's largest manufacturer of sports utility vehicles and pick-up trucks, has announced that it will put its first auto plant in Bulgaria, also China's first auto plant in Europe, into operation on February 21.

The facility, located near Lovech, in north-central Bulgaria, was jointly launched by Great Wall Motor and Bulgaria's Litex Motors. The plant started trial operation last November and is expected to have an annual output capacity of 50,000 vehicles with three major models, consisting of SUV Hover H5, Pickup Fengjun 5 and Sedan Voleex C10.

The Bulgarian facility would expand Great Wall Motor's market in the country or even the Europe, said a person familiar with the matter.

Hong Kong-listed Great Wall Motor sold 487,000 vehicles last year, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 22.5%. Of the total sales, 165,000 were Hover SUVs.

The firm's net profit for 2011 surged 25.77% year on year to RMB 3.56 billion, and its operating revenue totaled RMB 30.14 billion, up 31.13% from two years ago.

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