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China's Great Wall opens 1st EU-located plant

Feb. 22, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Great Wall Motor Co Ltd<2333>, one of the leading mainland makers of pick-up trucks in China, put the country's first Europe-located vehicle plant into operation on Tuesday.

The new facility, located in Bahovista, Bulgaria, is designed to have an initial output capacity of 2,000 autos per year. The capacity is expected to reach around 50,000 units by 2014 to expand the markets, including Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia.

The Chinese pick-up truck maker began exporting vehicles to Bulgaria last October, said CEO Wang Fengying.

Hong Kong-listed Great Wall Motor and Bulgaria's Litex Motors jointly own the plant, which has received an investment of 55 million Bulgarian Lev or around US$37 million, mainly from the Bulgarian company, said a person familiar with the matter, adding that total investment would reach between 150 million and 160 million Bulgarian Lev.

The plant's Executive Director Iliya Terziev said that the staff of the new facility would gradually increase from 120 to 2,000 in the next three years.

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