Great Wall Motor (GWM) and Daimler have inked an agreement that will see the Chinese automaker acquiring Daimler’s factory in Iracemapolis, Brazil. The deal will see the ownership of the Iracemapolis factory’s land, buildings, machinery and properties – except for personnel – being transferred to GWM by the end of 2021.
Following the completion of the transaction, GWM said it will carry out upgrade work on the plant, introducing advanced production, quality control, environmental protection and information management concepts in line with its global manufacturing standards, with the intention to build the factory into a smart production base catering to the local and other South American markets.
The facility, located in the Sao Paolo metropolitan area, is expected to create nearly 2,000 jobs and also drive the development of local support industries, the company said. The plant itself is relatively new – Daimler opened the facillity in 2016 and first began assembling the C-Class there, adding on GLA production later that year. At that juncture, the factory had an annual build capacity of 20,000 units, and had 600 staff.
The Chinese carmaker added that the new assembly plant would provide it with the means to enhance its presence in South America. It said that the choice of Brazil was due to the country’s economic strength, land area and population, which gave it immense potential for automobile consumption.
The Iracemapolis plant will be GWM’s latest global “smart factory,” and follows on the June opening of its plant in Thailand. The Rayong facility was previously owned by General Motors before it exited the ASEAN region and sold the plant to GWM, which spent 22 million baht (RM2.9 million) to bring it in line with its “global layout” direction.
With manufacturing facilities in Brazil and Thailand as well as Russia and India (the latter also purchased from GM) supporting its domestic base, the automaker is looking to significantly expand its presence across the globe. It has laid out an ambitious target of selling four million vehicles globally by 2025.
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