Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors officially opened on Tuesday a factory in Bulgaria which will manufacture 50,000 vehicles once it starts operating at full capacity.
The factory near Lovech, in north central Bulgaria, currently employs 200 but its staff is to top 2,000 once it reaches its full output capacity, officials of the Chinese company and its Bulgarian partner, Litex Motors, told a joint news conference. It is equipped to manufacture up to seven different models. Initially, it will manufacture Great Wall's Voleex passenger car, the Hover SUV model and the Steed pick-up truck. The production of a further three models is planned to start by the end of 2012.
Investment in the project so far totals 56 million levs ($37.8 million/28.6 million euro) as the partners plan to invest around 100 million levs over the next two years.
Great Wall's dealerships in Bulgaria are planned to reach 20 by the end of 2012 from 17 at the end of January. There are also plans to open dealerships in FYROM, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia before starting marketing activities across the EU.