Automotive News   |   Automotive News Europe   |   Autoweek   |   Automobilwoche

Automotive News China Newsletter
Register our free newsletter, sent each Monday and Thursday

     Automakers   Suppliers   Auto Show   Comment   Car Cutaway   Newsletters   Press Releases   Register for Newsletter
  Contact Us:   Editorial   Advertising   Subscription Information   |   About Us   Media Kit
Home >> Suppliers Email this story   Print this story
 
Geely targets Russia with new Belarus factory
Reuters | 2017/11/20

MINSK, Belarus -- A joint venture between Belarus and Chinese carmaker Geely launched a plant producing Belarussian-made crossovers, targeting Russia.

The investment is a measure of growing political ties between China and Belarus, a country envisaged as a gateway for China to the European Union, and part of China's giant investment initiative known as One Belt One Road.

China is a welcome source of funds for Belarus, which relies heavily on Russian money to keep its Soviet-style economic model afloat and strongman president Alexander Lukashenko in power.

China is building a new airport in Minsk, energy infrastructure and a commercial park known as Great Stone just outside the capital.

Lukashenko said Friday the plant embodied his dream of having cars produced in Belarus and promised to sign a decree stimulating car sales in the country.

"Our friends responded to my request and helped to create this beautiful plant," said Lukashenko, according to the state agency BelTA.

The plant, 70 km (44 miles) from Minsk in Zhodino, aims to produce 25,000 and 35,000 cars in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and has the capacity to make 60,000 cars per year.

"Ninety percent of the cars produced will be targeted at the Russian market," the company said in a statement.

Belarussian authorities have spoken previously of plans to expand the plant to increase production to 120,000 cars.

But in the first nine months of this year, Geely sold only about 1,700 cars in Russia, and sales volumes fell 55 percent compared to 2016.

According to Russian analysts, the plant, which will take advantage of Belarus's membership in the Russian-dominated Eurasian Customs Union, will allow Geely to increase sales.

But even so, analysts downplayed the ability of the Russian market to absorb more Chinese cars.

"The market is growing, but it depends on prices and the range. In any case they will not be able to sell 30,000 per year," said Sergey Udalov, deputy head of consultancy Autostat.

"It is possible to increase sales to 10,000, but I do not think they will be able to sell more."

The plant is not Belarus's first attempt to establish its own car production. Previous efforts included investment from Ford and Skoda, but these projects folded.

Related Stories
  • Geely opens EV research center in Germany
  •     --Published:2019/17/5
     
  • Geely's Lotus to hire 200 engineers for U.K. expansion, report says
  •     --Published:2019/14/5
     
  • Geely Auto sales fall as volume at mass-market brand softens
  •     --Published:2019/10/5
     
  • Proton secures $445 million loan from Chinese bank
  •     --Published:2019/30/4
     
  • Honda opens 7th assembly plant amid market share gains
  •     --Published:2019/16/4
     
  • Geely launches electric vehicle brand Geometry
  •     --Published:2019/12/4
     
  • Volvo explores closer ties with shareholder Geely in China
  •     --Published:2019/12/4
     
  • Geely, Great Wall, BYD sales climb in March
  •     --Published:2019/12/4
     
  • Geely breaks ground in Wuhan for Lotus factory
  •     --Published:2019/9/4
     
  • Daimler to recast Smart with Geely as China-based EV brand
  •     --Published:2019/29/3
     
  • Geely-invested Proton to assemble vehicles in Pakistan
  •     --Published:2019/26/3
     
  • Geely Auto promises more models to support sales in uncertain market
  •     --Published:2019/22/3
     
  • Chinese automakers renew drive to go global
  •     --Published:2019/15/3
     
  • Volvo Cars to pay $311 million dividend, second under China's Geely
  •     --Published:2019/15/3
     
     

    Our Newsletter Editions
    Automotive News China produces two email newsletters each week. You can sort your news by the articles highlighted in each of our newsletters here.

    Select your newsletter     

     
     

    Automotive News China
    Room 1303, Building 2, Lane 99, South Hongcao Road,
    Shanghai 200233
    Telephone: 86-139-1851-5816
    Fax: 86-21-6495-0895
     
    Home | Help Center | About Us | Privacy Policy | RSS
    Entire contents © Crain Communications, Inc.
    Use of editorial content without permission is strictly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.
    ICP06057291