Chinese automobile manufacturer Chery Automotive Co (CAC) has signed a partnership agreement with the Russian-based Avtotor to assemble cars in Russia.
Details on the joint-venture are still under discussion, reports yesterday's Economic Information Daily, quoting a manager from Chery.
Russian media sources confirmed the news and said Chery also plans to establish a factory with Avtotor if Chery cars are sold successfully in Russia.
Chery estimates that investment in the new factory would total US$200 million.
Avtotor has also signed partnership deals with two other Chinese manufacturers, Nanjing Yuejin (trucks) and Zhongxing (SUVs) in July 2005.
Based in east China's Anhui Province, Chery was ranked No.1 in China for car sales last year, with total sales hitting 185,000 units, 118 percent more than the previous year.
Sales of China's Chery automobiles took a huge leap in January as 22,505 of the smaller cars were sold, an increase of 110 percent compared to the same month of last year, according to the company's sales department.
The QQ, the company's flagship auto, saw sales hit 12,865 in January, leading China's small car market. Another of the company's models, the Qiyun, sold 7,575, two and half times more than the same period of last year.
Chery attained its 2005 sales goal with 189,000 units sold. The company is now China's sixth largest carmaker.
According to the company, Chery is planning to put six new models on the market in 2006. Insiders say the company is expected to sell 281,000 autos this year.
Chery has also won recognition for its technological innovation.
In 2005, China's vehicle output grew 12.56 percent to 5.71 million units over the previous year. Sales of domestically-made vehicles grew 13.54 percent to 5.76 million units, according to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2006)