FAW automaker to produce vehicles in South Africa

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China FAW Group Corporation, a leading Chinese automaker, is preparing to localize truck manufacturing in South Africa, the company's general manager said on Friday.

The import and export arm of China FAW Group, based in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Friday signed a letter of intent with the China-Africa Development Fund on jointly investing in a motor vehicle production project in Africa.

At the signing ceremony, general manager Xu Jianyi said the project would most likely produce midsize trucks in South Africa. But he did not reveal specific models.

Xu said his company saw Africa as a huge potential market for motor vehicles, which already accounted for 33 percent of the company's annual vehicle exports.

The project would involve a total investment of 100 million U.S. dollars, including 55 million dollars to be injected by China FAW and 45 million dollars by the China-Africa Development Fund.

It would be the largest auto project China has ever built in Africa in terms of investment.

Xu said specific site of the project, when it would be launched and its designed production capacity were yet to be decided.

Based in Beijing, the China-Africa Development Fund was established in 2007. The 5-billion-U.S.-dollar special equity investment fund aims to encourage and support Chinese enterprises investing in Africa.

Founded in 1984, the import and export arm of the China FAW Group Corp. has built marketing networks in 17 African countries.

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