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Great Wall breaks ground for Russian plant

Great Wall breaks ground for Russian plant

Great Wall Motor Co., China’s largest SUV maker, started construction of its 3.2 billion yuan ($520.7 million) assembly plant this week in the Tula Oblast region of central Russia.

The plant will be built in two stages. The first phase will cost 2.1 billion yuan, with production scheduled to begin in three years. At full capacity after the first phase is complete, the plant will build up to 150,000 vehicles a year. The company gave no details about the second phase.

The factory will be the first full-scale assembly plant run by a Chinese automaker in Russia.

Several Chinese automakers, including Great Wall and Chongqing Lifan Industry Group Co., assemble vehicles in Russia from kits imported from China.

Last week, another private Chinese automaker, Chongqing Lifan Industry Group Co., disclosed plans to build a 930 million yuan production plant in Russia’s western state of Kaluzhskaya Oblast.

Last year, Great Wall sold about 20,000 vehicles in Russia.